“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Training Tuesday: Where go?

Week of March 18-24, 2013:
Current Weight: 153.8  (Up 0.2 lbs.)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 67.0 lbs
Waist: 31"  
Hips: 41"

This week brought the first day of Spring....but no Spring weather.  And Sunday night....Winter Storm Warning....and this is what I woke up to on Monday...
Hello Spring!
Luckily, the ground is pretty warm, so most of the trails were pretty clear by the time I ran this morning.

Let's look at last week's training though...
Monday: Rest day - no real reason why, just lazy I guess
Tuesday: 5 miles TM with 1% incline, 1 hour strength training, heavy leg focus
Wednesday: 800s on the track, read about it HERE.  Total of 7.5 miles run.
Thursday: 1 hour strength training, arm focus.  Musical cardio.  No run.
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Ran 10 miles with 10:30 pace group
Sunday: Paced Scioto Miles 15K, recap HERE

Mondays are typically a cross-train/optional rest day.  I have been taking a rest day there when I've been doing my Sunday hikes.  This past week, I did not hike on Sunday because of last week's 18 miler.  So I have no reason other than laziness for not working out that day.

On Thursday morning, my knee and foot were a not fully recovered from my 800s.  I was stuck doing workout in my basement that night while my husband had his workout and the kiddo slept.  I kept moving from cardio machine to cardio machine as different body parts protests the workout.  Finally, I said forget it and just ate some skittles.  Great workout plan, right?

Second week in a row where I had to forego a Rainier workout.  With the 10 miles each day of the weekend, I just felt like adding a weighted hike on top of it wasn't a wise choice.  Even better - I probably won't hike this coming weekend either with my 20 miler and Easter.  I've decided that's okay because my priority at this stage is my marathon.  After May 5th, priorities change.  That sounds reasonable, right?

I could not be more ready for no snow and Spring weather.  I've adopted Avery's favorite phrase with a slight addition...."where spring go?"   
Eating healthy was a major fail this week.  I have become rather addicted to plain Easter M&M's.  Maybe it's the pastel colors - that makes them taste better???

Less than 2 weeks until the Xenia half!  Normally that might mean some sort of taper, but not with marathon training in full swing.  I have a couple ambitious,yet attainable, time goals in mind for that race, so time to start hoping for perfect weather to arrive!
Less typing, more stomping in the snow Mommy!
Hope everyone else had a great training week!  What is the next event on your schedule?

Anyone else ever had a musical cardio night before just giving in to candy?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Scioto Mile(s) Recap

Pre-race view of the finish line.
Photo Courtesy Fleet Feet SportsColumbus
Race: Scioto Mile(s) Training Series, Race 1
Distance:  15K (options to do 10K or 5K)
Date:  March 24, 2013, 8am start
Finish time:  1:54:47, Paced the 1:55 Finish
What sets this race apart:  Part of two part training series to get runners reading for Spring Half Marathons.  If your registered for both events early enough, free pair of shoes included.

My medal and t-shirt.  Loved the red of the women's shirts!
This race has a lot going for it for local folks.  It's part of a two part series.  If you paid one price for both races early in the registration process, you could select amongst a couple of pairs of free shoes.  Both races include a gender specific tech shirt, and this time they added medals.  (The first two seasons of these races had no medals).  Something unique is that there is a different bonus for signing up for both races each season.  This time it was shoes, last time was a fancy Nike bag, the time before that was a running jacket.

The course is a 5K loop.  For the same price, all participants can run any of three options: 5K, 10K or 15K based on the number of times you looped the course.  I did see one person who did the 15K even go back out for a bonus lap as part of her training.
The course included some of downtown, and the "Scioto mile" along the Scioto river.
Some of the views were just cool!
I did not sign up for the two-part series because the second race date conflicts with my half marathon in Xenia.  I also have become pretty partial to my particular running shoes.  (The Brooks Launch and the Newton Gravity).

Nonetheless, I am part of the pace team that paces most of the local races put on my Premier Sports or M3S sports.  As a result, I ran this race as a pacer.  The pace team did the 15K, which meant that everyone had the option of utilizing pacers regardless of how many of the 3 loops they chose.   I paced the 1:55 finish with my friend Celeste.  (That's about a 12:20 min/mile).
MIT pace team pre-race

Me and Celeste just prior to the start
We had a huge group sticking with us for the 5K loop, it dwindled down a bit during the 10K loop.  
Just after the first 5K loop
After that, a few people picked up speed.  We cheered them on and didn't see most of them again.  A few people fell back a little bit, and a few more stayed just in front of us.  In the last mile, Celeste and I realized that there wasn't anyone within sight of us behind us, so we picked up pace a bit to catch those just in front of us to encourage them to a strong finish.   The first group we caught up to were finishing their first race.  They were using this race as training for their first half marathon.   I couldn't help but get up in that first race finish excitement.  It was fun to relive that feeling through others!  After we finished with them, I was too happy cheering people in to really stop my watch right away.
Bringing them in!
The finished involved running by along the Scioto river, up a small hill and then about 0.1 mile flat section to the finish arch.  From the finish line area you could see people coming up from about 0.3 miles to the finish.  As I was cheering with those who'd just finished, I noticed another runner who I'd run with in the first 5K.  He was also finishing his first race as part of his first half marathon training.  I dashed down the stone steps to catch up to him from behind.  As I caught him, I said, "No one finishes alone."  He was so happy to see a friendly face and confessed that he only had a few minutes left before he'd go over his goal finish time.  I told him, "No problem.  You've got this.  We'll stay nice and steady up this short hill, catch our breath as we go around the turn cone, and then dash to the finish."   He agreed to the plan and off we went.

As we got ready for the dash to the finish line, he told me that I was awesome.  I laughed and told him that was why I did this, to hear such wonderful compliments.  HA.  Then I said, "Go, go, go, you can finish this FAST."  Holy moly did he pull some speed out of the air.  He dashed to the finish line.  I pulled off to the side just short of the finish arch to let him have his moment.  Then met him on the other side to congratulate him on a great job.  He just gave me a huge hug.  Has to be one of my favorite finish line moments ever!   He was so happy to finish his first race!  (And, he beat his goal by an entire minute.)

Before pacing this race, I'd been talking to my husband about whether or not I wanted to keep pacing.  Usually, I pace at a speed well below my training pace (for obvious reasons), and I was worried about potential injuries for something that was fun, but not necessary.  These moments on Sunday, celebrating with these first timers made me realize the FULL value of pacing a race.  You get to help people reach new goals, and YOU get to remember what it was like the first time YOU ever ran a race.  That pure joy of accomplishment can sometimes get lost when you start thinking about PRs, etc.  I cannot fully explain how much I enjoyed re-living those first race highs with these awesome people.

I am definitely not done pacing.  Not even close.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lame, but with some speed

I'm totally lame.  I wrote this on Thursday and failed to publish it.  But, my running wife told me this morning that too much time hadn't passed, and I could still post it.  Go complain to her if you don't like it.  :D
Oh.  I will Mommy.  I will.
So.  Last night I participated in my first ever track work out.  Assuming we aren't counting the time in middle school when my dad and my soccer coach thought it would be good for me to run some laps at the track with the track team and I thought I was dying.

Aside from that, this was my first track workout.  The plan was relatively simple.  Those from my running group interested in a speed workout met at the high school.  We ran about 1.2 miles over to the middle school as a warm-up.  For the full marathoners the plan was 10x800m.  We were to run them in 1:1 intervals with a rest interval.  The duration of the rest interval was to be whatever time you spent running the previous 800m.

I was way too lazy to actually measure my non-running intervals, however, so my friend and I simple ran the next 800m when we felt sufficiently recovered from the previous 800m.  A couple times, we got it wrong, weren't fully recovered, and thus, the same or slower speed felt harder.

What was especially fun, is that last night in Columbus Ohio the temperature started at 33*F.  Feels like 22*F.   The wind was crazy.  I actually wore my Nike hyper warm base layer, and still had to put my running jacket back on for the last couple of 800m repeats.  The track was a standard 400m track, so for each repeat, you ran 2 laps.  The best part?  The home long stretch, the one we both started and ended on, was directly into the wind.  (Conversely, the opposite side long stretch had a tail wind).  Coming around the corner directly into that wind after the first lap was some of the hardest running I've ever done.  From a mental stand point anyway.

I seem to fail at a lot of these speed work sessions on a mental level.  I feel slow, I feel alone, I start doubting myself in every way possible...until ultimately, I decide that running on the trail would be more fun and I leave.  In fact, I have cut short the last two speed work sessions and just run extra miles on the Olentangy Trail.  Not my finer moments.

To combat that, this week, I bought a completely non-intellectual romance audio book (if they have sex in a romance audio book, does that mean I'm listening to porn???)  My thought being, if I could engage my mind, maybe I could keep all those self-doubt voices at bay.  Then, I forgot my iPod in my car.  I decided not to go back for it, because if I lost sight of the speedy people at the front of the pack, I wouldn't know where we were going.  (I'd never been with the group on a track night before.  The last one was while I was in Colorado).

As it turns out, on the track, I didn't need it.  Being able to see everyone else while doing my own thing made it so much easier mentally.  Knowing I got to rest after every 800m didn't hurt either!

I took off for my first 800m, but I'd forgotten to change my Garmin to display lap pace instead of average pace, so I had no idea how fast I went, despite remembering to reset my lap after the warm-up.  During my break, I looked.  3 minutes and 43 seconds to run 800m.  In other words, I ran a 7:30 min/mile for 800m.  I didn't even know that was possible.  I was actually a little freaked out and vowed that I would go slower on the second 800m.  Next 800m?  7:41 min/mile.  Not really what I meant by slower.

Then I teamed up with another guy who is running Big Sur.  We often run together on speed work because we're closer to the same pace.  (He holds back for me a bit).  The thought was we'd aim for doing 8:00 min/miles.  The next 800m was 7:35 min/mile.

Why was I trying to slow down?  I wanted to make it through the whole workout without quitting this time and didn't know if sub-8 was sustainable.  We eased off a bit after that, but wound up sustaining it for the entire workout.  A-FREAKING-MAZING.  That's how I felt afterwards.

The breakdown of the workout in min/mile for each lap.  W/U and C/D were over a mile, so my watch treats those as two laps:
w/u 1.2 miles: 9:59, 9:42
800's: 7:30, 7:41, 7:35, 7:42, 7:45, 7:48, 7:41, 7:47, 7:50:, 7:25
c/d: 10:34, 10:18

Before the last 800m, I told my running partner that if we stayed with the same pace, it would be the first time that I have ever done a training workout where ever non-warmup/cooldown lap was sub-8 min/miles.  So, after our first 400m, he yelled at me for a few seconds, "last lap, last lap, go, go, go".  It made me smile, and the result was our fastest 800m of the night.

We ran an easy pace back to our cars as a cool down (about 1.2 miles), and the stretched using my car as a wind block.  I thanked him for staying with me and helping push me at the end.  This really was one of my favorite workouts ever.

I got home and promptly pulled up all that pretty Garmin data on my computer.  I've never really seen a single 7:xx min/mile since I started running, so I got all kinds of warm fuzzies looking at 'em.

Then, after about an hour of messing around on the computer, I stood up.  And damn, was I stiff!  Stiffest I've ever been after a 7.5 mile run!  Totally worth it.

This morning, my left knee, the inner leg on the track workout, was tender.  My trainer said that was normal but that I needed to see if it progressed.  After my strength training this morning (all upper body, no legs), it felt back to normal though.

That was a lot of words for me to say that I really enjoyed the track workout.  Despite it being the first day of Spring and feeling NOTHING like Spring.   I got a little taste of what being fast feels like, something I typically read about on other blogs with lots of jealousy.  :D

Edited to add:  I wound up skipping my run on Thursday because I never felt recovered enough from the speedy workout.  I ate M&M's and skittles instead.  HA.  I felt a little bad about that until speaking to the two guys I ran with this morning.  Both of them took Thursday off as well.

Have you ever one of those giddy moments after a training run?  Please tell me I'm not alone!

As a reward for reading my mostly words several days late post - a picture from Avery's favorite game.  "Where go?"   As in - where did whatever I threw behind something...or whoever left the room....go?   It was super cute the first 20 times she did it.
Where go all the funny writing, Mommy?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Training Tuesday

Week of March 11-17, 2013:
Current Weight: 153.6  (Down 4 lbs from last reported weigh-in, one month ago)
Total Lost to date (since September 2011): 67.2 lbs
Waist: 31"  (Down 1" since last month)
Hips: 41" (Down 1" since last month)

I broke through that 157 plateau by getting that stomach bug in Colorado.  While I gained back 4 lbs of the weight I lost during that illness, the rest has stayed off despite two whole rest days after my long run.  I'll take it!  I've decided it sounds cooler to report my weight loss as a percentage as they do on Biggest Loser.  I have lost 30.4% of my body weight since Avery was born.
But can you fit in this wagon???
How did my workouts go this week?  Nice to get back into my Ohio routine this week!  The one thing I didn't do was a Rainier tailored workout.  I wound up taking Sunday off.

Monday: Rest day - allowing myself an extra day to adjust to renewed routine
Tuesday: Ran 6 miles, strength training with Brandon for 1 hour
Wednesday: Ran 6 miles of hill work.
Thursday: Ran 5 miles, strength training with Brandon for 1 hour
Friday: Rest Day - Spa day at Mom's group!
Saturday: Ran 18 miles in 3 hours and 8 minutes.
Sunday: Last minute rest day

I felt really strong during the 18 miles, even though the route included a big hill around mile 3.  (Our group went up into Worthington Hills for miles 3-9).  I toyed with taking fewer GUs this time and it worked pretty well until the last mile.  I really should have taken one around mile 16 or 17, but with only 1-2 miles left, I decided I'd rather really enjoy breakfast.  Ha.  I could feel the effects of that decision as a slight fatigue at the end.  Still powered up the last hill though.  Much stronger than any previous 18 mile training run, which made me feel awesome.
True workouts involve jumping Mommy.
When I got up Sunday morning, my joints in the toes of my right toe were tight and a bit sore.  Strangest feeling ever!!  Since hiking with weight also puts a lot of pounding on my feet, I decided to take Sunday as a rest day instead.   Then I went to Book Club and ate enough sugar to make me slightly ill.  Book club is often my favorite day of the month.  Just sayin'.
Where's MY sugar?
This week I have another 10 mile mid-week workout.  It's a Fallback week with long run miles, but I'm also pacing a 15K on Sunday.  Still trying to decide what I will do about Saturday's 10 mile run, skip it in favor of the pacing or do it in addition because the pacing is slower than my normal LSD pace.  I'm talking to my trainer about it today.

How did everyone else's training go this week?  Anyone hit some new milestones?  Anyone racing?  I'll be counting some of my training runs this week as virtual races for the Spatula races and the Jellybean races.  I don't know that I typically count that as "racing" though - am I alone in this?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

We're So Classy

This is the "We're so classy" version of Three Things Thursday.

We're so classy that....

1.  When I changed Avery's diaper yesterday afternoon, I took only a diaper into the living room thinking "it's only wet."  Oh no, it was poopy.
Gotta keep you on your toes Mommy.
My solution???  Carry my toddler through the house by her ankles saying "weeeee" until we got to the wipes container.  Despite all this, while wiping her bottom I got poop on my fingers...and before realizing it, I wiped hair off my forehead.  Yes, that's right, I wiped toddler poop on my forehead.  You all wish you were as cool classy as me.

2.  We took our 19 month old to a Hockey game last weekend.  And watched her terrorize the guy in front of her.  She felt that stadium seating means you climb over the backs of chairs, duh.  She also rather enjoyed throwing whatever she had in her hands that direction.  After the second time, I didn't ask the guy to pick her stuff up from under his seat.  I did offer to buy him anything he wanted at the concession stand, but he turned me down.  He clearly recognized how honored he was to be so close to our awesomeness.
Next time, I'll be unstoppable!
And, we bought her a hockey stick.  Afterwards, we realized that gift was best enjoyed at home...in her church dress.  We're classy like that.

3.  When spring like weather hits, we get a headstart on the planting season.....which requires plenty of dirt throwing and banshee screaming.  Trust me.  And it's even classier if you do it in your church dress.
This is a different video than the one I uploaded to FaceBook for those who saw that one.  Still the same stuff though.  :)

What classy stuff have you done lately?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I am still alive!!!

Family vacation in Colorado means no blogging or reading of blogs for Mandy.  I will be playing catch-up over the next week!  I'm looking forward to some laughs and smiles from all the blogs I follow!

I won't bore anyone with the minutia of my two weeks in Colorado.  Let's sum up...

I skied.  A lot.
Mark and I in the snow at Breckenridge

Lindsey and I - me with ice in my hair

Matt, Lindsey, Me and Mark at Beaver Creek the day we skied over 31,000 vertical feet.

Lindsey and I stealing a picture so that we could beat the boys on EpicMix points.
Then, at the end of our second trip to Breckenridge, I started feeling nauseous.  I didn't even try to eat the burgers my parents made for us all upon our return to the house.

I spent the next three days with a stomach virus.  I didn't eat or do anything resembling physical activity for THREE WHOLE DAYS.  And then, Avery got it too.  My husband flew home to Ohio, and came down with it the next day.  Awesome.

No long run for me, no hiking the ski slopes.  Just lots and lots of trips to the bathroom.  

As soon as I felt better though, I hiked the Golf Course at my parents house (8,200 feet above sea level). 
That smile is huge because I was so happy to be outside!
The next day, I skied in the morning (over 20,000 vertical feet), then hiked the Golf Course again in the afternoon.  
My Dad and I posed for a picture because it was such a nice day!
A view of the way I'd come on the hike...
The next, next day, my Dad and I skied 43,880 vertical feet, the most I've ever skied in a day!   

And then, I traveled alone on two planes with a toddler.  She did amazingly well.   Nonetheless, I'm not sure I ever want to do that again.  Ha.
I made you look good Mom.
Now???  I'm happy to be home, ran my long run like normal yesterday, and hiked again today.  Springlike weather in Ohio right now - perfect welcome home.

How have all of you been?  Any big races since I've been gone?

What's the longest you've ever gone without eating?  This was definitely a new record for me!