Friday, July 31, 2009

Photo Friday: My new Room

Happy Friday to everyone. For this weeks photos I wanted to share my new room in my apartment.

That is pretty much it! I have a nice little closet and then a bathroom connected which is really nice. I still have to work on hanging up my pictures on the walls. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Honest Scrap

About a month ago I got this award from J.J. over at I'd Rather Be Laughing and so I thought better late than never to share this:

Rules are to link back to the presenter, share 10 things about yourself that your readers may not know that are true, and then pass it on and notify the people you pass the award on to!!

1. I love to cook and bake. I grew up learning from my mom and my aunt and I really enjoy being able to plan meals. My favorite dish would have to be mac and cheese with salsa which I learned from my college roommate!

2. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school. It was an experience and I loved it! One of the great things about it was that I got to learn the history of my own faith (Catholicism) as well as the history of every other major religion out there.

3. I went to elementary school, high school, college and now work all in the same city. I love to travel but I hope one day I will move from here and be able to live some place else.

4. I didn't get my ears pierced until a month before my high school senior prom. My mom wanted me to wear some sort of earrings and instead of going for clip ons (totally not cool), I got my ears pierced. I still don't wear much jewelry but I try to wear earrings everyday to work now. For graduation, Brian got me this necklace (the letter 'J' from Tiffany and Co!!) and I have been trying to wear it. I have just never been a jewelry girl - I like to keep it simple!

5. I am an only child. I always wanted a brother or a sister when I was young but now I just want to be an aunt. I want to have kids too just not yet. I am not even married. Ok so a few things missing but I want to have the responsibility of spoiling kids but not have my own yet!

6. I like to be organized. I carry around in my purse a bright lime green mini notebook thingie where I write down all my "to do" lists!

7. A few of you may remember my post a while back with pictures of my dog. The pets are all at my parents which include 2 cats and a dog. Sadly a week ago my dog, Kia had to be put to sleep because she had cancer and was getting worse. When she was younger we used to go running together and I miss seeing her perky face when I pull into the driveway at my house. To check out the pictures I posted of her in the winter go here.

8. I love love love to scrapbook (almost as much as I love to read!) I have my whole life pretty much done (except for the last year of college) and my next big project is going to be a scrapbook for my mom!

9. Each of my names (first, middle and last) is exactly six letters each. Like 6 - 6 - 6....kinda of interesting if you're into numbers!

10. And finally, three days after I graduated from high school I had my appendix removed. Not that i really miss it or anything!

Passing along to:
Mel - Tall Mom on the Run

Chocolate Shoestrings

Wow ten things is a lot! Hope you enjoyed reading - I enjoyed writing!! Happy Tuesday!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My knee: final thoughts

Thanks for all the wonderful and supportive comments on my last post. I wish I had better news but I believe that I have an inflammed tendon connecting from my quad to the patella. I have not been running for 4 days and I can still feel and see slight inflammation above my knee cap and into my quad. To read more about this specific type of injury go here. Of course this is all self diagnosis since I haven't been to see my doctor. My dad goes to this chiropractor that does ART so maybe I will try to get an appointment there.

Like I said before, this is sad that I won't be able to run but I think its for the best. Looking back I have been training for a college sport (either basketball or track) without any breaks since March 2007. Before that I didn't have much time off either so this is the perfect time to take a step back and rest. I don't want to push the injury to try and run the half so I have decided that I will not be running it no matter what.

Ok ok enough about my knee...moving on...

Tomorrow I am heading to the pool at 5am for a little swimming. It should be really interesting!

This week I have a few posts planned that will drift away from running and expose a little bit more about myself, J. Hope everyone had a great weekend and I promise no more talk about my knee!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's a sad day

First off...I totally forgot my blog birthday/anniversary thingie. It was July 18th and you can read my very first post here.

Next, here is my 8 week training plan for the Half marathon that is on September 13th.

The sad thing is that I don't think I will even be able to use it.

After yesterdays 3 mile run and this mornings failed interval workout I think its time for me to stop running, take a rest, and see if my knee can heal.

It could be runner's knee, it could be IT band problems...who really knows. I do know that it hurts when I run, it hurts a lot. It's an irritating pain right on my knee cap and sometimes on the sides. And the pain lingers even after I am finished running.

I plan on starting to swim to keep myself in shape and also to keep me sane. If I didn't have some sort of exercise to do instead of running I would be freaking out!

This is really hard to say that I am going to stop running for a while, and the fact that I don't know how long I will have to sit on the sidelines makes it worse. But I do know that I was able to run the Boilermaker this year (although that may be the reason why I am in so much pain) and there will be more races in the future. As long as I can run pain free I will be happy, whenever that day is!

Thanks for all your kind words of support, I really appreciate it!! Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Ran Today

Yes...I ran today.

1.6 miles...with some pain.

No swelling, no bruising, but there's a slight twinge (pain in the knee) still when I run.

I think somehow my quad muscle isn't strong enough to hold my knee up properly.

Not sure though : (

Its just so weird...I've never had anything like this.

I do have a nice little half marathon plan! Ill share that later on this week.

I also have successfully recruited my friend's Jackie and Margot to run the HM with me!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend...I am not looking forward to Monday!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Boilermaker Photos!!

I got the race photos in an email yesterday and they are horrible. I mean I look ok in them but they are just horrible pictures! Oh well...thank goodness for Brian and his camera! Enjoy and have a good weekend!!

Me, Kim, Kims sister, Kims dad

(All these photos are from the end of the race or post race!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boilermaker 2009: Part II

Yes I know part one was a tease...but I got busy and didn't want to rush through the post just to get it up so everyone could read it! So now I present part two:

Every year I run this race, the 9.3 miles go by in such a blur and this year was no exception.

As I crossed the start line, the chips attached to all the runner's shoes beeped. Its a funny sound and has signaled the start of every race for me the past 5 years.

The first mile was decent - I felt the nervous jitters seep out of my legs and I pounded the pavement at a comfortable pace. I did minimal weaving and dodging around other runners and felt like I had made a good choice to start closer in the yellow area. The first mile is slightly hilly and stretched out in front of me I could see thousands of runners bobbing up and down.

Mile 2 was also uphill and this mile is known as the international mile because of all the cultural bands, dancers and people that stand along this area. I enjoy hearing all the music and seeing all the people as I run but I know that I miss a lot because I am partially focused on running.

I found a group of cross country girls for mile 3 and went too fast and started feeling a little drained but my pace felt good. Mile 4 was in the golf course and this is where my favorite hill is because it also contains the best downhill! As I was climbing the golf course hill I saw a race photographers trying to get people to wave to the camera so I took that chance to be goofy. We will have to wait and see how I look once they post the pictures!! I ran the downhill mile so fast and then continued into mile 5 too fast and by the time I reached the deadly hill at mile 6 I was feeling it.

I mentioned before about my knees and I was feeling them through most of the race. The pain did not start out as badly as it had been on my last run that previous Thursday but it was still slightly present. I think the adrenaline of the race helped to keep it at bay or maybe the two rest days prior to the race.

My knees definitely hurt at mile 6 and onward until the end. I knew I was slowing down on the uphill and picked it back up on the downhill into mile 7 and 8. This is the point in the past races where I have wanted to go faster but my legs just wouldn't do it. I had little trouble until I was halfway into the ninth mile and there was a slight uphill before the "final 0.3 mile downhill" to the finish. It was horrible...I just wanted the race to be over with because my knees were hurting badly.

I finally made it past the nine mile maker (which along with all the other mile markers stands permanently in the ground year round!) and I started looking for Brian. He had brought his camera to take pictures and I wanted to make sure I saw him. He caught a few pictures of me before I noticed him and could smile and make sure I looked happy! The finish line is the most packed during this race...there are so many spectators yelling and cheering, its an incredible feeling!

Crossing the finish line was amazing because I finally got to stop running. I took off my chip from my shoe and received my finishers pin! I had been keeping track of my splits throughout the whole race so I knew I was on course for a PR. The weird part is that I feel like I could have gone faster, except for the whole knee hurting part because I felt good the whole race!

My chip time was 1:13:07 which is a 3 minutes PR from last year! It was amazing running that fast and I totally believe that the longer slow distance running is to blame. I never ran that fast pace for my long runs!

Here are my mile splits from my watch:
Mile 1 - 8:10
Mile 2 - 7:57
Mile 3 - 7:43
Mile 4 - 8:08 (favorite uphill)
Mile 5 -7:02 (favorite downhill)
Mil e 6 - 7:34
Mile 7 - 8:20 (uphill)
Mile 8 - 7:29 (downhill)
Mile 9 - 8:17 (almost dead)
Last 0.3 - 2:20

Here is some more stats for you:
Chip Time - 1:13:07 (7:51 pace)
358th female finisher
Age group - 95/725

Gun time - 1:14:54 (8:03 pace)
338th female to cross the finish line
Age group - 89/725 to cross finish line

First 5k - 24:44
Second 5K - 23:37 (48:21 10k split)
Third 5k - 24:46

This post is already long so I'll post pictures tomorrow for an early photo Friday!!

Now that the race is over, I am resting. I took Monday and Tuesday off and tried to run this morning (Wednesday) and I almost didn't make it the 1.8 miles I set out to do. My right knee was in so much pain and after the race I had trouble bending my knee and going down stairs. I think its runners knee but I have never had this much pain before so I am slightly worried. I have been icing and taking the "drugs" and I am going to wait until Sunday or Monday to try running again and hopefully be pain free!

Thanks for reading this race report. This Boilermaker has to be the best one yet!! But I say that every year!! Happy running!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Boilermaker 2009: Part I

** To check out last year's mini race report post click here which contains the past 4 years finishing times **

This is a multi-post race report.

Brian and I left Saturday morning and headed to Utica to stay with my college roommate's family. This is the 5th year in a row that I have run the Boilermaker 15k and I was excited to see my roommate Kim again. Shortly after arriving and scarfing down lunch we headed to the expo. It was pretty disappointing this year as we only received our traditional Saranac beer glass and nothing else. In past years, the goodie bags have been packed with a box of spaggetti, free samples and hair ties.

A few of the vendors were packing up when we got there because it was looking like rain and so sadly we did not get the traditional Boilermaker tattoos. Shortly after leaving the expo, the sky opened up and it rained and thundered! The storms lasted into the night but eventually cleared in the early morning.

Sunday morning I woke up bright and early (around 6am) and got ready. Kim and her father have been running this 15k for the past 11 years! This year her younger sister also decided to run and so at around 6:30 we headed down to the finish line. We always park at the finish and take the shuttle to the start. We boarded a bus quickly and before I knew it I was walking a mid thousands of people!

Brian, Kim's boyfriend, and Kim's Mom left the house at around 7am and went to the finish line. This was Brian's first year of seeing the race and he brought his camera to capture all the action! Kim's mom always stands right before the finish but I have never been able to spot them when I come running by because the finish area is a mad house!!

The start area for the race is broken up into color groups; White bibs are for the fast people and the elite runners, then it goes blue, orange, green, yellow, and gray with each color increasing the time you put in that it would take to finish the race. I had a yellow bib and before I went to my designated area I saw a former college basketball teammate. I had no idea that she would be running the race and it was such a coincidence that I happened to run into her. After talking to her for a bit I headed to my area. Last year I had a yellow bib as well but decided to stay with Kim and her family so this was the first year I started closer.

It gets REALLY crowded at this race wtih 12,000 runners and so I was glad to start closer. In past years I have had to dodge runners for the first few miles in order to run the pace I want.

After the national anthem the cannon sounded and we stood still. Usually it takes me about 7 minutes to get to the start line but this year I had the rare treat of only waiting 2 minutes and I was off and running...

Part II tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Photo Friday

Well it is Friday once again and surprisingly it is NOT raining! It actually looks like summer outside today!!

Here is a picture from Brian and my first day of work last week! We didn't try to dress similar it just happened!

Tomorrow I am off to Utica to go to the expo for the Boilermaker! I am staying with one of my old roommates from college and I am really excited. I will have a full race report next week!

Check out Marlene's blog for her 500th post and a great giveaway!!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ravishing Wednesday!

It is Wednesday! One more day of work for me and then I can rest! Here's whats been going on lately:

  • I took today off from running. The reason I am taking off today besides the fact that the 15k race is fast approaching is because my right knee hurt really, really badly during the run yesterday. It was so weird...the new shoes feel great but I am still having pain and it is no ordinary pain. It comes and goes as I run and hurts on the lower inside part of the knee. I don't think its runner's knee or IT band what is it???

  • Today I get my furniture for my apartment! That means I can stop living out of boxes and my suitcase! I can't wait to go home and set everything up and then I can show you photos of my new room!

  • I am reading this great book and its my feature for Literary Wednesday. If you like Dan Brown and his books then you should read The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury. It is such a quick read with short chapters and a story that unravels right before your eyes.

Not much else going on in my life. I get up, go running, go to work, come home and sleep! Enjoy your Wednesday!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Summer!

It is the start of another week; another week of work and another week of running. Just one more week until the Boilermaker 15k next Sunday July 12th!

My new shoes are Nimbus 10s I think – this is the first time I have bought this type of asics and they feel pretty nice. They have the unusual lacing that curves to the side which is kind of neat. I have been waking up at 5am and pounding the pavement which has been really enjoyable because it is cool and quiet.

My knee problems haven’t evaporated completely but they have gotten better. This week of course will be light and so I am hoping that I can make it through 75% of the race without pain in my knees. During the 15k I usually get knee pain right around the 6-7 mile marks (not really sure why though).

I do have some exciting news on the half marathon front. I mentioned a while back that I plan to run a half marathon in September (the very same one that I ran last year for my first HM). Last year I ran it with my best friend Kaylie but this year she won’t be around to train for it with me and I am not even sure if she will be running it. I was a little bummed because I was unmotivated to train for the race by myself.

Last week I got an email from my other best friend Jackie saying that she wanted to run the Half marathon! I was very excited about this idea and since then have helped her decide on a decent training plan. I will post about all this and more next week after my 15k. From today there is exactly 10 weeks until the HM – that seems really close!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July weekend! My favorite part had to be eating strawberry shortcake for dessert every night! I just love Summer!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Busy Busy

Happy July!

It has been a busy week and its only Wednesday...thank goodness that I have Friday off for the 4th of July.

I have been slacking majorly on the blogs, but not on purpose. This whole working thing takes up a lot of my life, plus there is my running and after all the other necessities of life (sleep) that doesn't leave much time for reading blogs.

And things aren't going to get any better.

Next week I start summer hours at work, which in fact is a great thing because I will get Fridays off for the rest of the summer. I work 10 hour days, Monday through Thursday. I worked for this company before in college and have already experienced the summer hours thing and its nice but by Thursday night I will be exhausted! So I am sorry in advance if blogging takes a back seat but I will be reading and commenting as best I can.

I bought new shoes yesterday. Usually I just buy whatever shoes I can get for a good price. The pair I am currently wearing now that have been giving me problems were women's asics. The pair before that were men's asics! My shoes right now have about 190 miles on them and I have never had a pair of shoes go kapoot on me this early. So when I went to the store tonight I bought a pair of men's asics and now we will see what happens. Of course it could have been that the current pair of asics were just beat up from running outdoor track but I don't really think that is the case! I'll run in the new shoes tomorrow and see how my knees feel.

On a different note, I wanted to thank Brian (B-rabbit) for getting up before 5am this morning and going to the track with me for 400m repeats. He honestly is the best boyfriend I could ever ask for. I love that he cares so much and always wants to make sure I am safe while running!

If you are looking for a great giveaway head over to Chic Runner and enter to win some great stuff from Zensah! Hope everyone has a good rest of the week and a wonderful holiday weekend!