Friday, November 30, 2012

83 Days Left

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I was excited for today's run.  I try to schedule a rest day before race days, but my husband offered to go to the trail with me and ride his bike while I did my run.  I decided to take him up on his offer and have some quality time together and run at the same time.  Great plan.
Too bad my body didn't hear about the plan.  Every single step was work today.  We went to the lake park - my new favorite running spot.  We walked to the start and got going.  I thought the run started out okay.  It wasn't an easy, feeling great start, but it wasn't terrible.  It took me 2 minutes and 30 seconds to get to the first 1/4 mile marker.  I walked for my minute and then got past the 1/2 mile marker during the next running interval.  This went on for about a mile.  Right about the 1 mile marker, then my legs felt heavy and my breathing wasn't right.  I had only gone a mile but I felt like I did after I ran 10 last week...and I still had 2 miles to go. 
So, I slowed down a little bit.  A 2:30 1/4 mile equates to about a 10 minute mile.  That's too fast for me.  I started too fast and paid for it.  I am not ready for a 10 minute mile.  Maybe one day, but not this day.  It felt better after that.  I don't think that I could have gone much further, but I finished my 3 miles.
My husband, however, also missed the part in the plan that we were going to spend quality time together.  My pace was obviously too slow for him and he took off.  He passed me about a mile and a quarter and then again at about two miles.  He got 3 laps (4.5 miles) to my 2 and went out of the back of the park to explore a tunnel under the interstate.  Our quality time was not so quality and I think that I will leave him home next time. But, I am glad that he came out.
Hopefully today's rough training run will mean that tomorrow's 5K race will be awesome.  I am still hoping for a 36 minute 5K.  My fastest 5K ever was 37.01 and that was 2 years ago, before I got pregnant with the baby.  I will need to average 11.6 minute miles to do it.
Today's Stats:
3.1 miles in 37.31 (12.0 minute miles)
Lap 1 - 18.02  (11.6 minute miles)
Lap 2 - 19.28  (12.4 minute miles)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

86 Days Left

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 My goal this week was to have a plan.  My husband has to work days this week, so I had to figure out when and where I was going to run.  The middle of the week is usually pretty hectic for me.  I try to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but those are the days that the baby stays home.  My original plan was to go to the gym and run on the treadmill or even outside while he played in the childcare.  Of course, he had croup over Thanksgiving and now has snot.  No childcare for him.  But, I REFUSED to be thrown off by this kink in the plan.
After we ran our errands this morning, I came home and put the baby down for his nap.  I took the big boys upstairs to our room over the garage and offered them the opportunity to play on the computer.  (This is a BIG deal at our house.  The computer lives upstairs out of sight of every other room in the house.  They are 5 years old and are not allowed online unsupervised.  The Disney Channel, which they watch every single day, does not have commercials for toys, but has plenty of commercials for their online games.  This results in a game of 20 questions about when they can play on Disney Junior dot com.)  This very generous offer put the big boys doing something that they want to do in plain sight of me while I got my run in on the treadmill.  Yep, I am pretty brilliant, if I do say so myself.  This is pretty much what it looked like:
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One of my offspring wanted a turn on the treadmill.  So, I let him have a turn before I started.  I did a 1/4 mile warm up and then started my intervals.  It has been MONTHS since I ran on the treadmill.  I set my running intervals at 5.5....completely neglecting to set the incline to mimic the road.  My walking intervals were at 3.8.  Once I figured all of that out, I set the watch and got going.  It was easier than I thought.  I didn't stare at the numbers on the treadmill.  I didn't check the watch over and over.  I think 5.5 is a little faster than I run outside and 3.8 is a littler slower than I walk, but it worked for today.  I don't plan on using the treadmill any more than I have to.
In other news, the interval beeping also served as the timer for the boys to switch.  It was so peaceful.  The watch would beep to walk and the boys would switch turns.  When the watched beeped to walk again (3 1/2 minutes later), they switched again.  There was no yelling or fighting or anything.  I might run on the treadmill once a week because of the 40 minutes of harmony in my house.
Since everyone was cooperating, I did 5K.  The 5 minute warm up is included in the time, so that slowed me down a bit.  All in all, it was a good run.  It's done.  I have to fit in another on Thursday and then we are all running in a race at our church on Saturday.  The boys and the husband are going to do the 1 Mile Reindeer Run while I am doing the 5K Jingle Jog.  They will wait for me at the finish line.  And just so it is out there for accountability, my goal is to run a 36 minute 5K. 
Today's stats:
3.1 miles in 38.10 (12.2 minute miles)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

89 Days Until the Disney Princess Half Marathon

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There are two types of runners - fast runners and slow runners.  Today, I was the crock pot of running.  I ran long and I ran slow.  It felt fantastic! 
Even though I ran an AWESOME 10K on Thursday, this weekend had 9.5 miles on the schedule.  I am running a 10 mile race in 2 weeks, so I couldn't count the 10K as my long run.  I couldn't find a 9.5 mile run that started at my front door that was safe and easy.  There were too many turns.  I was worried that since I got lost on a 4 mile run with 4 turns, I would never be able to remember the turns on a longer run.  So, I decided to go back to the lake park.  It made me a little nervous to go running at the park at 7:00 on a Saturday morning, so I waited until after lunch to go.  The park path is a 1.5 mile loop with an unmeasured bit between measured posts.  Map My Run says that the loop is 1.55 miles all the way around. 
It was a little chilly today, but not downright cold, so I wore knee-length pants, a long sleeved shirt, and a short sleeved shirt over it.  I have been running out of water on runs over about 5 - 6 miles, so I took a second water bottle to make sure that I had enough.  I ate my Gu Chomps as I was walking out the door to drive to the park.  I got there, walked to the trail, and found a place near the path to stash my extra water bottle.  I used the walk to the trail as my warm up, so I started running at the mile post. 
I knew from the first steps that it was going to be a good run.  I started out slow.  My goal was to finish the mileage, not to break a time goal.  The running intervals felt good.  I wasn't huffing and puffing (much).  I could talk to people if I needed to.  I just ran....and ran....and ran. 
There were a lot of people out running.  Some of them were FAST.  Some of them ran past me (in the opposite direction) twice during my loop.  But, after a loop or 2, I didn't see them any more.  I just kept on going.  They were running fast, but I was running far.
After 3 laps (4.5 miles), I stopped to refill my water bottle and then turned around and ran the loop in the opposite direction.  The opposite direction was HARD.  It was windy going the other direction.  It was cold going the other direction.  But, I finished those 3 laps too.  For my last mile, I turned around again and went the way that I like better. 
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Everything felt great until about 8 miles into the run.  Then my legs started to hurt.  I was running at about the same speed that I was walking.  The minute walking interval seemed to keep getting shorter.  But, the amazing thing is that the 2:30 running interval wasn't hard.  I didn't look at my watch.  I didn't will it to beep.  I just ran.  When it was time to walk, I walked.  I talked to myself a lot for the last two miles.  I would tell myself that I only had to go another lap and a mile and then counted down from then.  I talked myself through the last mile.  I cheered myself on.  I told myself to keep going. 
When I had a 1/2 mile left, I came across an older couple who was enjoying the day together.  The man was taking pictures of the woman.  When I caught up to them, I offered to take their picture.  I told them that I would be happy to so I didn't have to run any more.  I didn't really mean that.  I was glad to stop and take their picture.  I maybe lost 30 seconds doing that for them.  But, it made me happy to help.
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I was so happy to see the mile marker.  There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment.  I did something today that I have never, ever done before.  I ran in the double digits today.  I had another long run that felt great.  I only have 3.1 miles left to get to 13.1.  I did it.  I got a little teary when I finished.  I called my husband to tell me that I did it (and to tell him that I still had to walk a half mile to get to the car.....darn 1.5 mile loop!)
After I picked up my water bottle and started back toward the car, the older couple had caught up with me.  The woman offered to take my picture.  (I declined.....I looked like a hot mess.  I didn't put my hair up for a finish line picture, I put it up for a 10 mile run.)  We got to talking and they asked my how far I had gone today.  I told them ten miles.  They were impressed.  That made me happy too.  I thanked them and wished them a good afternoon.  Then I headed home to my family. 
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I'm a little sore now.  Not really, really sore....but a little sore.  It's not as bad as it has been after shorter runs.  It's hard to go up and down the steps.  It's a good hurt.   It's the hurt of accomplishment.
Today's Stats:
10 miles in 2:19:10  (13.9 minute miles)
10.2 miles in 2:19:10  (13.6 minute miles)**
**Not completely sure how far I went......
I took 1.5 mile splits:
Lap 1 - 19.52
Lap 2 - 20.44
Lap 3 - 20.34
Lap 4 - 21.28
Lap 5 - 21.01
Lap 6 - 20.53
Last mile - 14.36

Thursday, November 22, 2012

91 Days Left

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I am convinced that runners are not right.  Today is Thanksgiving.  It's a day for eating.  It's a day for It's a day for watching football.  It's a day for scanning the Black Friday ads to plan your Black Friday shopping.  If you don't have to get up and put a turkey in the oven, it's a day for sleeping in.  It's a day for reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for in our lives.
So, what did I do this morning?  I ran 6.2 miles.  I even paid to do it.  Who runs a 10K on Thanksgiving?  2413 people.  That's who wakes up and runs 6.2 miles on Thanksgiving morning.   2413 crazy people.
This race had a bit of a later start than most races. It started at 9:00.    We got to sleep in a bit.  This was a good thing because we spent much of the evening at the ER with the baby.  A dose of steroids for croup and we were home in bed by 1:15am.  I got up at 6:30 to have my bagel and banana and to take a peek at the Black Friday ads before I headed out.  (A girl has to have her priorities in order.)  I drove to Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach to meet up with the Moms Run This Town ladies for an 8:00 picture.   I met two new ladies at this race and saw someone that I had met at the Wicked 10K.  It's really comforting to go to a race with 2400 people and see a friendly and familiar face.  I also caught up with my friend Susan.  She waited in the bathroom line with me for a bit before scampering off to the fast person starting line.
Anyway, it was a chilly start to the morning, but not chilly enough to wear cold weather clothes, so I froze for a bit before the race started. I was wearing a short sleeved shirt, long tights, and a cute running skirt.  I was also rocking a turkey hat.  If I'm going to be there, I'm going to be festive.   It was sunny and a little bit breezy, but a refreshing breeze instead of the hurricane force winds of the Wicked.  At a few minutes before 9, we made our way to the starting line.  I found my predicted finishing time (actually, I picked my preferred finishing time, but that is neither here nor there) and got ready. 
The gun went off and the fast people started.  2 minutes later, I got to the starting line.  I was DETERMINED to finish in a respectable time so I could submit to Disney.  I knew the time I needed to get (1:14) and was going to do it or die trying.  There was a bit of a traffic jam for the first half mile and I found myself weaving to get around people.  (Read that again.  I'll wait.  It said that I was getting AROUND people....that means PASSING!  I was running faster than other people!!)  I ran for the first 5 minutes without stopping to walk.  After about 5 minutes, I felt comfortable starting my intervals without irritating the people running behind and around me.  We had a good 3 miles of neighborhood running.  It was pretty boring.  There were a few people out, but not too many.  Right at mile 4, we entered Mt. Trashmore Park.  It's a big loop with a lake and an old landfill made into a mountain in the middle.  I was chasing a couple that was running slow, but always running.  I would pass them on my 2:30 running intervals and then they would pass me during my 1 minute walking interval.  I kept up with them for a good 3 miles, then they sped up and I slowed down.
My hat was hot.  I didn't like it.  I kept saying that I was going to take it off at the next walking interval.  I never did it.  I kept running with the stupid thing on.  Now I know.

I also had some snot issues.  I felt fine when I got to the race, but once we got going, my nose got going too. I'm going to have to plan for that happening.  Snot bubbles are NOT festive.  Maybe Santa will bring me a Handana to keep my nose (and my shirt) snot free.
Back to the matter at hand....I got tired at about mile 4.  I probably should have had some Gu Chomps to get be through the last 2 miles, but I didn't.  Now I know. 
My fast friend Susan met me at about mile 5.5 and ran the rest of the way with me.  She told me about her fast person problems while we ran.  Those made me laugh and got us to the finish.  I slowed down for the last .2 miles.  An older gentleman passed me.  He told me to pick it up.  He told me that I had been in front of him for the entire race and that he better not beat me.  I found a little energy after that.  I caught him and finished right in front of him.  He didn't care.  He said that I helped him finish the race. 
I crossed the finish line in 1:16:27 (or something).  I knew that it took me about 2 minutes to get to the finish.  My watch said 1:14:42.  Official time - 1:14:02.  I did it!!!  I needed to finish in 1:14 to predict at 2:45 half marathon and I ROCKED it!!!  I finished 141 in my age group, out of 172 people.  I finished faster than 260 other people.  Looking back on my race goals, I met every single one.  I crossed the finish line.  I wasn't last.  I met my time goal!
I got some water and a a Krispy Kreme donut (just one....don't hate) and went home to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  Runners are crazy, but it's a good crazy.  I have never FELT this good after a long run.  No aches, no pains, no swelling. 
Next up:  9.5 miles on Saturday!
Today's Stats:
6.2 miles in 1:14:02 (11.9 minute miles....for 6 miles!)
Mile 1:  11.10
Mile 2:  11.42
Mile 3:  11.57
Mile 4:  12.0
Mile 5:  12.23
Mile 6:  12.34
.2:            2.51
(Yeah, I slowed down every mile, but I finished in 1;14!!))

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

93 Days Left

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It's a big running week for me.  I have a 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day and a 9.5 mile long run this weekend.  So, today I did a little run.
I'm still chasing the feeling I had a few weeks ago....when every step was easy.  That has not been the case.  Today wasn't hard.  I wasn't waiting for the watch to beep or cursing the steps.  I was just running when it was time to run and walking when it was time to walk.  It just wasn't easy.   It wasn't terribly fun either.  It was a running day, so I ran.
It's hard to get back into a running schedule when you've gotten off schedule.  I've been doing my runs every week.  (Well, except last week.  I only did 2 runs last week.  I missed my "long" run.  It was only supposed to be 3 miles, so I am not too devastated about it.)  I just haven't been running in the mornings.  It was hard to get going again. 
You see, my husband is my biggest cheerleader for this running thing.  He does whatever he can to help me get my runs in.  He makes breakfast on Saturday mornings.  He reminds me to take out my running clothes.  He makes sure my race bibs are straight on my shirt.  He has started a job with a crazy schedule.  That crazy schedule has him at work during my running time or asleep during my running time.  So, I am left to find someone to watch the monkeys.  Who wants to do that at 7:00 on a Saturday morning?? 
Yeah, I have a treadmill.  Yeah, I have a membership at the Y.  I don't really have an excuse.  I should be able to get my runs in, but I don't.  I'm losing motivation for the short runs.  Intellectually, I understand that the short runs are training for long runs.  I get that.  I know why the short runs are important.  It's just hard for me to want to go out and do them.  I'm fine with the long runs.  I plan for those all week.  Everyone knows they are going to happen and what that means for the family.  The short runs just sort of happen.  There is a vague outline of how it's going to work, but no real plan. 
Hubby is home this week.  I can run when I am supposed to. That helps me get back on track.  He works during the middle of next week.  That has the potential to derail the plan.  My goal for the week is to have a plan.  I need to know how I am going to get my runs in.  The holidays are always crazy at our house, but training can't stop.  I have just over 3 months until this half marathon.  Then I have 1 (maybe 2) right after.  There is not rest for the runner in training.
Today's Stats:
2.58 miles in 31.14 (12.0 minute miles)

Friday, November 16, 2012

97 Days Left

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After too many days between runs (life gets in the way sometimes), I got everyone off to school and headed back to nature for my run this morning.  I liked running at the park so much that I went back there again.  The biggest differences were that it was 20 degrees cooler today and I had nothing but time.   I had no idea how far I was going to go.  I knew I would do at least 3 miles, but I considered going further if I was feeling great.  This is not my picture nor is it my trail, but this is seriously what the trail looked like:
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With the direction that I was running, there was a lake on my left.  Because it was early-ish and very quiet, I saw ducks and geese and a beautiful white egret that just looked at me both times that I passed him.  There were some squirrels along the way, but mostly it was just quiet and beautiful.  There were some other people out and about - not nearly as many as the other afternoon, but enough that I knew that I wasn't out there alone. 
It was right at 50 degrees when I got out of my car and headed to the trail.  I dressed in my running skirt/tights and a short sleeved shirt.  I was chilly when I started, but I warmed up after about a mile.  It wasn't work like Monday's run, but it wasn't easy like Saturday's run.  I did two laps, which is 3 miles.  The loop doesn't start and stop at the same place, so I run to the marker where I started.  Since I run the extra bit twice, I round the run up to a 5K.  (I had seriously considered a third lap, but then I opted for a nice, warm shower in a quiet house instead of the extra lap.  Sometimes a girl has to choose.  Since I NEVER get to shower without someone crying or calling my name or coming into the bathroom to see where I am, I thought it was a good choice.)
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I needed to run today.  We are flirting with the road to autism for one of our children.   It's been a long and confusing road.  We have had our parenting skills put under a microscope to see if we are the problem.  We have gone to weekly appointments to get him the help that he needs.  We have sat through 2 IEP meetings so far this year.  They boys have been in school for 9 weeks and they are only in kindergarten.  We have one more to go in the next few weeks and probably another one before the school year is over.  We are screamed at on a daily basis.  The diagnosis that we got just yesterday is different than what we have heard before.  This new one used the "A" word.  There needs to be more testing to confirm the diagnosis, but that's where we are headed.  It's a lot to digest.  I thought that I would use the run to work through it all.  I didn't.  I didn't think about it at all.  I just ran.  I looked at the leaves.  I smiled at the egret.  I smiled when my running intervals happened when I was in plain view of everyone driving on the interstate and my walking intervals were deep in the woods where nobody would see me.  I enjoyed the peace and quiet and beauty of the morning.  It cleared my thoughts.
As an added bonus - I came home to see that the lottery registration for the Nike Women's Marathon opened today.  It's a half marathon in Washington DC in April.  If I don't get picked, then it didn't cost me anything, but if I do, I'm going to be running in DC in April!  Racing is a bit of an addiction!
Today's Stats:
3.1 miles in 36.48  (11.8 minute miles - lightning fast!  :)  )
Splits from my watch:
Mile 1: 11.50 minutes
Mile 2: 12.51 minutes
Mile 3: 12.07 minutes
*The extra .1 is added in between miles 1 and 2 and then 2 and 3.  The 1.5 mile loop starts at one post and ends at a different one.  I started and finished at the same post, so I ran the distance between the posts twice.  I figure it is at least 1/10 mile. 

I also calculated all of my miles since I registered for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  Since July 10, 2012, I have run 162.08 miles.

Monday, November 12, 2012

101 Days Left

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After the magical run on Saturday, every single step today was work.  I can't even begin to pinpoint why.  But, I kept going.  We went to the zoo this morning for family fun day.  We had a not so good for you, but completely delicious and a zoo tradition lunch.  We rested while the baby napped and then we went out to a pretty popular trail.  The boys played on the playground with Daddy while I took two laps around the lake.  The trail is a mile and a half marked trail, with markers every quarter mile.  It was a hard packed trail instead of the concrete or asphalt that I am used to running on. It was covered in leaves in most places, but not to the point where the leaves were slippery or a hindrance to the run.  It was a beautiful trail.  The leaves have turned brilliant colors - red, golden yellow, orange - in the past few weeks.  The sun was shining across the lake onto the trees.  I got to see my beautiful children and handsome husband when I came around the lake to start my second lap.  There were tons of people walking, running, skipping, sitting, and walking their dogs on this gorgeous fall afternoon. 
But, for some reason, things didn't click today.  The second lap was much slower than the first.  I just don't know.  Whatever happened, I finished my 3 (and a little bit....probably .1) miles.  I liked the location.  I am looking forward to running there again. 
I guess some runs are just like this.  They can't all be great.  The hard runs are what make the good ones even better.  I would rather have a short run be the hard one instead of the long one.  It's much easier to keep going when you know you will be done after 3 miles than to keep going when you know that you have to keep going for 7 or 8 or 10 or 13.1.
Today's Stats:
3.1 miles in 37.59 (12.1 minute mile)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

103 Days Until the Disney Princess Half Marathon

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Something amazing happened this morning.  I became a runner.  I can't pinpoint when it happened, exactly, but it did.  
Maybe it happened when my alarm went off  - 6:30 on a Saturday morning. 
Maybe it happened when I looked at the temperature and went anyway - 38 degrees as I was heading out the door.  
Maybe it happened when I double checked how far I had to go and went anyway - 8 miles. 
Maybe it happened when I wasn't terrified of the distance. I visualized the course in my head as I was going to sleep last night. Some of the visualization came from distant memories of riding the school bus when I was in elementary school, so my distance meter may have been out of calibration. But, I could see the run in my was at warp speed....kind of like the race course video at the Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo. At warp speed, it didn't seem that bad. Half of it was in familiar territory and the other half was familiar in a car but brand new on my feet. I never once doubted that I would finish the run.
It didn't happen when I was getting ready to go.  My pre-run routine was normal.  I got dressed in my super cute new black running pants, blue long sleeved shirt (weren't you kind of getting tired of hearing about my black one?), and my gloves because my hands have been cold the past few mornings.  I ate my peanut butter toast and my GU Chomps and headed out.  Nothing that screams "THIS GIRL IS GOING TO BECOME A RUNNER TODAY!"
Maybe it happened when the run was easy.  My feet and my lungs and my brain and my legs were working together in harmonious unison (oxymoron, I can't have harmony if you have unison, but you get the point).  My legs started to get sore between 5 and 6 miles into the run.  I still had to go up and over a bridge and then go up and over it again to start heading home.  I never felt winded.  My toes didn't fall asleep.  Nothing started to hurt like the run where I ran 5 of 7 miles on legs that had given out.  It just all worked.  It felt good to be out there.  My pace felt decent (more on that later) and I actually enjoyed being out there.   I ran 2:30/1 minute intervals.  There were some times when I felt like I didn't need to stop to walk.  That happened 2-3 miles in.  (I took my walk breaks.... I didn't want to take the risk of burning out because I didn't walk early enough or frequently enough.)
Maybe it happened when I was MAD at my time. I didn't even THINK about the pace while I was out there.  I just ran (and walked and ran and walked....).   I crunched the numbers when I got home and my pace was over 14 minutes per mile.  I was angry.  The run felt too good to be that slow.  It irritated me so much that I made my husband drive the exact route that I took in the car.  I had originally mapped it on MapMyRun, but I think I changed the route a little bit when I was out there.  In the car, the route was 1/2 mile longer.  That doesn't seem like much, but it knocked 1 minute per mile off the time.  That made me happier.  It wasn't as fast as my shorter training runs have been, but I'll take it.  I kept pace for 8 miles....over and back over an overpass at 6 1/2 miles, on the road when there was no sidewalk, in the middle of the road when the road was crowned.  Granted, I sped up a little when I heard the gunshot at the far end of the dead end street and I slowed down a little when the three barking dogs came running across the yard at me, but over all, I kept pace. 
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Whenever it happened, it happened.  I became a runner today.  Every run is not going to be like today's run.  There will be days when it's hard.  I'm 5 miles away from half marathon distance.  I still have 103 days to get there.  I'm going to be able to do this.  I'm a runner, not just a person who runs. 
Today's Stats:
8.4 miles 1:53 (13.4 minute miles)

Friday, November 9, 2012

104 Days Left

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For whatever reason, the short runs have become a pain.  The hubby went back to work, which means that my prime running/shower/breakfast time is lost because I had to stay home with the baby.  Evenings are out because it gets dark at lunch time these days.  Afternoon runs are still a possibility - IF there is adult supervision for the monkeys for a little while.  We can't go to the gym because the baby has to nap and then dinner and then....and then....and then.   It's a laundry list of excuses.  They are legit excuses, but excuses just the same.  That's why my second short run this week was today instead of yesterday.  But, I did it and I got my two short runs in the week. 
Today was another run in the neighborhood.  And, my walking neighbor was out again today.  I had to laugh because he was in his heavy winter coat, complete with hat, and probably gloves.  I couldn't tell because his hands were stuffed in his pockets.  As for me, I was wearing my cropped running pants and my long sleeved race shirt from the Wicked.  I was a little chilly waiting for the bus, but I warmed up after a while.  Because we were both out this morning and he was about 1/2 mile ahead of me because of the bus and my route, I made it my goal to catch him.  He's a sneaky one....sometimes he repeats a court or two before he keeps going.  He did this when I was on the other end of the neighborhood.  Then, I did some repeats to trick myself into thinking that I was almost done.  I did this when he was on the other end of the neighborhood.  Finally, as I came back into my court for the homestretch, there he was.  I was determined to catch him before I got to my house to end my run.  It took 2.58 miles, but I caught up with him in front of my driveway. 
It's the little things that keep you motivated. 
This was the high school algebra problem from hell.  If Runner is running 2:30 minutes and walking 1 minute while Walker is walking at a constant pace, how long (or far or whatever) will it take for Runner to catch up with Walker?  Yep, you will have nightmares of solving for X tonight.  You are welcome.
In other news, running in the morning with my cool new RED running sunglasses and my headphones rocking my favorite running tunes, some of my other senses come out of hiding.  I am always had a pretty sharp sense of smell (even more so when I am pregnant....which I am NOT), but the nose had been picking up man smells in the mornings.  It always happens in the same place - right in front of the house where my brother's friend lives.  I've seen the guy leaving for work when I am on my way up the road to home, so I figured that he was heavy handed with the cheap cologne and it lingered in the air when he brought something to the car.  It made me chuckle and hold my breath at the same time.  Well, mystery solved, my friends.  I smelled it again today when I passed walking neighbor coming down the street while I was going up the street.  I think the man smell was coming from him.  And knowing what I know about him, it was probably not cheap cologne.  I apologize to any cologne that I offended by calling it cheap. 
Today's Stats:
2.58 miles in 31.25 (12.1 minute miles)

Monday, November 5, 2012

108 Days Left

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First of all, in 8 more days, that post title is going to say 100 days left.  100 days.  Where did the time go?  How is this race so close?  Am I going to actually be ready to run 13.1 miles?  Am I going to be ready to do it AGAIN 3 weeks after I do it the first time?  Running people are a crazy bunch and I think that I am turning into one of them.  I had a CRAZY thought this certifiably crazy.  My long run for this weekend is supposed to be 8 miles.  That's about an hour and 45 minutes of running all by myself.  There is also a half marathon in Norfolk this weekend.  I had the thought to register for the half, run my 8 miles, and then walk the last 5.  It gets my 8 miles done and it shows my brain that I can, in fact, move forward for 13.1 consecutive miles.  I have 3 more days to decide before online registration closes and prices go up.
Anyway, I missed my long run this weekend.  It was only 3 miles, so I am not that terribly concerned about how that plays into my training schedule, but life got in the way this weekend.  I found a million excuses not to go.  Saturday morning I just wanted to sleep.  I wanted to sleep until the kiddos woke up.  The thought of waking up early on Saturday made me cranky, so I slept.  Then one of the kiddos wanted to go to church to help pack food for Stop Hunger Now.  How do you say no to that?  You just can't tell a child that mommy has to run, so you can't be a good person today.  So, we packed food.  Then we had to go to the commissary - like there was NO milk or bread or eggs or fresh produce or junk food in our house.  There was only prep food - the stuff you have to put together to make a meal.  Sunday wasn't much better.  I was dressed to run, but the kids wanted to snuggle after they woke up and then we had church and then we had a temper tantrum and then I had to bake.  So, no run for me this weekend. 
Today, there were no more excuses.  It was time to run again.  Progress doesn't happen when you sit around thinking about running.  Progress happens when you actually get out there an run.  Here was the problem today - it was a bit nippy this morning.  I am working out my cold weather running gear.  Today I wore my running capris and my long sleeved running shirt with the finger holes.  (That also happens to be the only long sleeved running shirt that I have, so that decision was pretty easy.)  I was a little shivery at the bus stop, but then I got moving.  I got to comfortable, never roasty toasty, never sweaty....just comfy.  It took 2 laps of my neighborhood to get comfortable, but I got there.
The new running intervals have made me a little faster.  I did my second run in a row of sub-12 minute miles.  To fast people, that is nothing to get excited about.  To me, it's been 4 months in the making and I am going to be excited about it now and frustrated about it if I slow down again.
Still thinking about the half this weekend.  I think entering a half marathon at this point in my training is full on crazy, but you never know what you can do until you try. 
Today's Stats:
2.58 miles in 30:46 (11.8 minute miles!!!!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

112 Days Left

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Something happened today.  Today, I was at peace with my run.  I actually enjoyed it.  I stopped because my husband started to wonder if I was ever coming back, not because I was tired or because I was finished.  I could have kept going.  Nobody is more surprised at this than me!
It was a perfect day for a run.  It was cool and partly cloudy.  Just perfect for a short sleeved shirt and long pants.  I waited until after lunch when the big boys were playing outside, the baby was working, and the husband was piddling around in the garage.  I had a pretty big lunch, so I put on my shoes not quite sure how things were going to go. I decided to stay in the neighborhood and planned for 3 laps.   As I got to the end of the warm up walk, things felt so good I decided to try a new interval today.  I set my watch for 2:30/1 intervals and I took off. 
The running gods were smiling on me today.  The 2:30 passed quickly.  I didn't even look at my watch.  I just ran.  I wasn't short of breath and my legs didn't hurt.  When the walking intervals came, I caught my breath quickly and felt like I was walking at a pretty good pace.   I passed my house the first time and decided to do the next lap in the opposite direction.  I ended up doing two laps "backwards" and then added a fourth lap in the usual direction because it felt good. 
4 laps in the neighborhood!  I didn't even think about my pace until I got back home.  I looked at my watch and it seemed like a decent time.  I know my typical finishing time for 3 laps, so I wasn't quite sure what "normal" looked like for 4 laps.  My husband did some quick calculations for me.  TODAY'S TIME WAS AWESOME!!  I almost did a happy dance in the middle of the street.  I broke a 12 minute mile.  I was fast today.  I was fast and it felt good.  I could have kept going and it still would have felt good.
Runs like today's run make me look forward to the next one.  Runs like this make me feel like I can really do this half marathon thing!  I'm almost disappointed that I ONLY have to run 3 miles for my "long" run this weekend.
Today's Stats:
3.44 miles in 40.27  (11.7 minute mile...yep, that says 11.7!!!)