Friday, November 4, 2011

And more photos

Some more pictures from the Half!

Cheesing it up for the camera

Brent makes fun of me for chewing my tongue when I am concentrating.

Really happy to be done!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Photos from the Half

Some of my fellow Triangle Mommies got some good photos throughout the day.

It was really cold at the start!

Working my big butt up a hill on Anderson. So many more hills to go!

Triangle Moms happy to be done!

Triangle moms that went the whole distance.

Ramblin Rose Race Report

"I'd like to say that no matter how I do, I will be fine with finishing. But I know I will be disappointed if I don't make my time goal."

Official time: 2:40:03.

Big sigh.

At first look, I was really disappointed. But then I thought about it. Miles 1-7 were flat and maybe some gentle rolling hills. Not bad at all. I was on pace for a 2:25 finish. I was feeling good. Right around mile 7 on Anderson street the hard core hills started. One after the other. Having already run 7 miles and no real hill training to speak of, my pace slowed to a walk for most of them. In the end, I am ok with my results. I am not going to let 10 minutes difference on a really challenging course take away from what I did.

The race was great. Really well organized. The vibe was great. Over 1800 women and a handful of men. Brent and Morgan popped up 3 times on the East Campus and a couple of times over in Forest Hills. It was nice to see and hear them. Morgan always ran to give me a hug. Running with the Triangle Moms was nice too. It was nice to see some familiar faces along the way.

The weather was good as well. It was pretty cold (about 45 degrees) while we were standing around waiting to start. My arm warmers were a big help, although I had them off within the first mile of the race. By the end of the race it was about 65. So overall the weather was perfect.

My most memorable moment came in the end of the race. I had been following this one woman for the last 4 or so miles and went to pass her late in mile 13. I told her I had been following her for miles and thank her for that. She laughed and I moved on. Turning the corner to Blackwell St I saw they had moved the finish line way up the road and my heart sank. My tank was empty. I started walking. This woman caught up to me and grabbed me by the arm and said "NO!, you are not walking this in. Let's go!". She got me up the road when all I wanted to do was stop. I am so grateful for this stranger to get me across the line.

Here's the course map though:

And my splits:
1 10:4710'47"/mi

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's here!

I am sitting here in my running clothes waiting to leave for the half. I am sitting here remembering all of the runs I have done in the past 4 and a half months. All of the times I ran in the sweltering heat and humidity. All of the work breaks I gave up to run. All of the times I woke up when I didn't want to to run. All of the times I felt flipping great after I ran. All for this. All for today.

I'd like to say that no matter how I do, I will be fine with finishing. But I know I will be disappointed if I don't make my time goal. So giddy up! Let's go! I didn't do all of this work just to be disappointed at the end!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tick tock!

Well it is here. Less than 48 hours to the start. All the work I can do is done.
59 workouts
248 miles covered
Only 13.1 more miles to go to reach my goal.

I've been making a mental list of things to remember during the race:

- Don't start out too fast. This was reiterated by an email from Bull City Running which noted: "Take it easy. The second half of the course is more challenging than the first in terms of hills and turns. So, don't start too quickly!"

- Run my own race. It is ok if people pass me.

- At the same time, keep in mind my goal of 2.5hr. But secretly, I would love to come in before 2:27 which is the time Jenni and Juli made on their halfs.

- Remember my mantra "Recover while running". Try to limit the walk break if at all possible.

- Have fun and remember that I am setting an excellent example for Morgan and Hannah.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10 days to go and a little worried

Well, it feels like my training plan has blown up in my face. But I am doing the best I can with the schedule that I have. Brent has been crazy with work which has resulted in my missing the last two mid-week middle distance runs. My last long run of the schedule was supposed to be 12ish miles but ended up just shy of 10 since I had to take Hannah down to George's, run and be back in time to get Morgan from the bus. My last two long runs were really tough for me. And I don't have many more opportunities to get some good runs in for the next 10 days. I am nervous that I have worked so hard for the past FOUR months only to have it all fall apart on me in the last 2 weeks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

12 Miler Down

26 days to go!

This morning, my long run called for 11 miles. For some reason, I really did not like the sound of that. I chose to up it to 12. Why? I have no rational reason for it. I just felt like running 12 miles instead of 11. I can not believe that. I felt like adding another mile to an already really long run. Badass.

Starting from the Durham Bulls Ball Park, I headed down towards Woodcroft. I wanted to make it a little past the 6 mile marker so that I would have about a quarter mile to cool down at the end of the run. It turns out the mile 6 marker was down past Woodcroft Parkway and into the section of the trail that I diligently ran back and forth on a little more than a year ago when I just started running doing my Couch to 5K program. I remember struggling through that particular section of the trail so vividly. Make it to the first bench. Next week, make it to the second bench. Next Dunhill Dr. Now here I was this morning in the same section of the trail only now instead of struggling to complete 2 miles, it is now the turn around point for a 12 mile run. It was a great realization and a pretty powerful motivator at that point of the run.

Overall though, this run was pretty rough for me. The first three miles were particularly hard. It felt hard to get moving. My legs felt tight. I stopped at 3 miles to take in some Gu, which was a little earlier than I had planned, but listening to my body, it was just the right thing to do. It seemed to help as miles 3-6 weren't too bad. I stopped at 6 miles to call Brent and let him know how I was doing since I knew he was pretty anxious to get to work this morning. Gu again at 8.5 miles. Again, a little earlier than planned but at a stop for an intersection I just had a feeling that my fuel tank was running low. Miles 9-10 were actually pretty good. The last two miles was just me looking out for every quarter mile spray painted on the trail. So there were a lot of stops in the run, mostly for intersections, which were welcomed and I ended up taking my time at. But the 12 mile run is logged and for that I am happy.

Two more long runs before the half. I am thinking that I would like to do 13 next week and then play the next long run by how I am feeling. I would like it to be anywhere from 12-14 miles.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Training update

5 weeks to go!

The training has been going pretty well. My long runs have been challenging, but I have completed them all. My most recent long run was 9 miles. I did it on the nice, flat American Tobacco Trail. I tried to keep the pace nice and slow. Starting at the Durham Bulls Athletic park I took a rest at the half way point at Juliette Drive. I had a Gu and made my way back. The last 1.5 miles were pretty tough as the trail had lost some of its shade and the temperature was rising.

The only real issue I am having with my training right now is my habit of taking an extended break at the turn around point. I really want to cut this out, but I seem to rely on it to get my heart rate down a little and take a little breather.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

5 miler

In response to this post, I thought I would add a little positive thinking. My scheduled long run for yesterday morning was 5 miles. I planned to run from home to the post office and back. One way to the post office is 2.88 miles which I completed without stopping. This made me feel good remembering the sweltering 3 mile runs that I could barely finish last week. The way back is a different story, but I am proud to have completed the run. Despite a nagging pain in my left hip. My current plan of therapy is stretching and icing. Hopefully I will be ok for my planned 4 miler tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Modified Half Training Schedule

Here is the training schedule I have devised for the half. It is created on the assumption that I am going to have the same work schedule throughout the training period (ie. weekends and Thursday nights). Also I have to remain flexible to Brent's schedule during the week. It is possible that the Tuesday and Thursday runs will have to be switched around as needed.

T minus 10 weeks

Uggg. I am really having my doubts about being able to run this half marathon. It is now about 10 weeks away and I am struggling to complete 3 mile runs in this heat and humidity. I have not had a good run in a while. They say that training in this weather is good conditioning for the fall, but I really need to have some good runs to help me feel like this is a goal I can actually accomplish.

I do however have a training plan in place and I just completed the first week. The goal was 13 miles over 4 runs. Unfortunately because of work and the extreme heat I had to skip one run and made it only 9.8 miles this week. Not a real confidence booster as I start to ramp up the mileage.

Tomorrow is a 5 mile run and I am going to do my best to get up and run as early as possible.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More things to remember

From the Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running:

"So don't despair or bemoan your genetics. Rather, recognize that your physical makeup is the luck of the draw. Instead of wasting time trying to change it, learn to work with it. You can learn to take advantage of your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Don't compare your running to that of others or become self-critical if you aren't progressing as quickly as you thought you would. Such comparisons can lead to frustration and demoralization."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Words of wisdom...

....from a Runner's World Magazine article entitled "A Few Rules to Run By":

You rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Carrboro's Four on the Fourth Race Report

Le Tour de Carrboro is a series of races throughout the year starting with the Four on the Fourth. It is a four mile race through the streets of Carrboro. I thought maybe it would be a good idea for me because the distance is somewhat challenging for me right now and it would be a good chance to have at least one recent race experience before the half in October. My goals going into the race were simple enough: finish the race in 40 minutes and run the whole thing.

We arrived at the race and I did some last minute prep and said goodbye to the family. There were about 700 racers. I situated myself towards the back of the pack and had a light warm up. As I heard the gun go off I was situating my ipod into my fuel belt and was ready to go by the time people around me began to move. Brent and the kids were at the starting line to wish me luck. Off we went. I had driven the course the day before so I knew the course was fairly flat with some minor hills. The first half mile was just people jostling into position. After the first turn it was pretty much spread out. I was running around 9min miles and feeling pretty good. I was trying to pick people to pace with and ended up passing most of them. Miles 1 and 2 were pretty unremarkable - some nice flat running through residential streets. There was a water stop at mile 2. I grabbed a cup and poured it on my head because it was getting pretty hot. Right after the water I found a group of women running at about a 9 min pace and stuck with them for a while. Mile 2 was relatively flat and not too bad at all. Around mile 3 the group of women I was following started to fall apart. Most of them stopped to walk so I was forced to pass them and go on my own. But it wasn't long before I was also tempted to take a break. I walked for about 20 seconds before I reminded myself of my goal to run the whole thing. I was up and running again when immediately one the bottles fell out of my belt. Luckily there was no one right behind me and I was able to snatch it up and keep going. I was getting pretty tired at this point but the last turn was right ahead of me. Once more I was tempted to stop and walk. 30 seconds later I resolved to finish this race strong. At this point we were turning into the school and headed to the track where we would have only two thirds of a lap to go. I turned it up on the track, saw an older man in front of me and resolved to finish before him. As I passed him it was straight to the finish line.

As I crossed I was relieved to be done - and happy to see Brent and Hannah right there (Morgan chose the bouncy house over me). The clock at the finish line said just over 43 min. I was anxious to see what my official time would be and if I beat 40 minutes. My watch read 4.3 miles and 42:54. When the official times were posted it read what the clock had said when I crossed the line 43:12. It appears that the official race time is actually the gun time. Come to think of it, there was no chip sensor at the starting line. Bummer. But I chose to look at it this way. My original goal was 4 miles in 40 minutes, or a 10:00 min/mile pace. I finished 4.3 miles in 42:54 which is a 9:58 pace. Right on target. As for the two walk breaks? Hey, I kept moving which is not always the case during my training runs where I have a nasty little habit of taking a full on break at the turn around point. Overall, I was happy with the way I ran this race. I had some clear goals in mind and I feel that I met them.

It was a good experience to have going into full on training for the half. I know that I definitely have to work on my endurance and strength training. And with that I need to work on nutrition and properly fueling my body.

After the race we stuck around so Morgan could run in the kids races. He did great and was psyched to get a ribbon! We both crossed the finish line today!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sweet relief

So at the advice of the Run Like a Mother crew and my friend Jenni, I decided to try out some compression sleeves to help me with the shin splints. According to the Zensah compression leg sleeves "can be worn during training or for recovery to increase oxygen blood flow to the muscles of the lower leg. The more oxygen the muscles receive the faster they recover, allowing athletes to push the envelope in their training. The compression leg sleeves are ideal for runners, cyclists and triathletes and anyone else who is on their feet. It can be worn during training, recovery or for traveling."

I had some left over money on my birthday giftcard so I decided to give them a try. I originally bought a pair of large Zensah sleeves but they did not feel as though they were tight enough. I traded them for a pair of CEP sleeves which fit much better. After having them on for a couple of hours my legs felt much better.

The best part was the sympathy I got from Hannah when I first had the Zensah sleeves on. She took one look at them and told me her legs were tired too and fetched a pair of leg warmers to wear. She rocks!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oh crap

So that fantastic run I had the other day may have broke me. I felt a little sore on the rest day afterwards. But ok to head out on Wednesday. As soon as I started running something wasn't feeling so right with my legs, particularly the left one. It wasn't too bad so I decided to continue and just make it a three mile run. I finished the run with a faster time that I had anticipated or even wanted for that matter. By the time I got home I jumped right into a lower body yoga routine. But throughout the day my shins and knees just felt sore and fatigued. All of my research suggests that shin splints are a sign of overuse - going out to far or too fast. My long run on Monday could certainly have been a factor, but I can not help to notice the timing of the sore shins with my new shoes. I am afraid that the shoes I bought may not be the right ones for me. But because there are two variables at play, I can not be sure. So my plan is to ice the shins a bit and wait until Saturday to run. I have the Carrboro 4 miler on Monday so I want to run a little bit before then. I'll probably run on Saturday an easy run in my new shoes and stick to the old Brooks for the race on Monday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New shoes take me on my best run in memory!

Another year older this week. But my birthday was very profitable in terms of running gear! The family gave me a gift certificate for Bull City Running so I could get a much needed new pair of shoes. I was all prepared to go in and get the newest model of the Brooks Addiction, which have been my trusty running shoes for years now. But the salesman directed me towards another motion control shoe, the New Balance 850, which was on clearance to make room for the newer model. Same motion control benefits for $60 less. It took me a while to get up the nerve to make a change, but in the end a good shoe with extra money on my gift card to get more running gear was the choice for me. I was a little nervous about it, until I got home and read this article comparing the New Balance to the Addiction 9. It certainly put my mind at ease.

So I headed out in my new shoes for a Saturday run. As I previously wrote about, these runs are not my best since they have to be later in the morning when it is much hotter. I trudged through 3 miles in the heat and humidity listening intently to every little ache I felt in my legs to make sure I hadn't purchased the wrong shoe. In the end it was fine. But I wanted a good solid run to test them out.

I headed out yesterday with a goal of 4-5 miles. Not only to test the new shoe but to make sure I am ready for the Carrboro Four on Fourth run that I have been thinking about (more on that in a different post). It was rough to wake up a little early on Monday morning, but I got up, had a banana and headed out. It was the first run also with my fuel belt. I had it loaded with 2 waters and a Nuun. Immediately I was feeling good. Not much of that dreadful weak feeling I usually have for the first half mile of a typical run. Mile 1 feeling good. No aches in the legs and it is nice to not have to hold a water bottle. Belt is staying in place. By mile 2 I have finished the hilly part of the route and it is flat for the rest of the way. I hit the high school at 2.45 miles - the turn around point for my previous long run but I am feeling excellent so I keep going. I reach the parking lot, which is where I had planned to turn around, but I decide to take a little further to the post office - 2.98 miles. I took a little break to drink the Nuun and I headed back to home with a goal of making it to at least 5 miles. The way back my legs started getting a little tired, but I made it to the "the hill", which I had to walk a bit of. Reached 5 miles on the road into my neighborhood with 0.6 miles left to get home. I actually smiled when I saw 5 miles on my watch knowing that I had it in me for the remaining 0.6 miles. I finished the run sweaty and feeling great. No pain in my legs. The shoes worked great!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Regaining my mojo!

I was all set to post last week about a couple of great 3+ mile runs I logged. I feel like I am finally getting back into the three mile runs. I have been having more success slowing the pace from 9:30 to 10:00 so I can maintain the longer distances. But then came two runs over the weekend and I felt like I was right back at the beginning. I set out both days to log 3 miles and ended up at 2.5miles each with multiple stops in each run. The difference was the time of day and with that the weather and humidity. When I run on the weekends I have to wait until 10:30am to take my 1 hour break. On both days, by 10:30 the temperature was anywhere from 90-95 degrees with high humidity. After about a mile or so I had nothing to give. On Saturday I was through an entire bottle of water at the halfway point. Luckily I was able to find a sink nearby for a re-fill. The thoughts about not being ready to train for the half came sneaking back even though I knew that the weather was mostly to blame for the horrendous runs.

Then this morning I set out at 7am. 75 degrees and moderate humidity and logged my longest run since I started running again - 4.75 miles! I felt pretty good throughout albeit a little sore afterwards. If I can keep this up for the next couple of weeks I feel really confident that I can use a beginner training plan for the race in October!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Not so sure about this.

So I was feeling pretty good about my running back in mid April. I was running 3-4 miles about 3-4 times per week. Then my consistency started falling off. I got sick in mid-April followed by a trip to Boston. It took a couple of weeks to get back into form from that week long break and right when I was feeling good about my running again I had a shoulder injury that prevented me from running. So now I am back. I am trying to be comfortable with runs that are only 2 miles. I feel like I have slid so far backwards. I am SO incredibly motivated for this half marathon, but just am nervous that I don't have the fitness that is required. I have 6 weeks to build back my base mileage before the 12 week training schedules begin. In the next 6 weeks I would really like to get back being comfortable with 3 and 4 mile runs about 4 times per week.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And so it begins...

I wasn't planning on it. I thought about doing it a couple of weeks ago. I decided not to do it. I decided instead to maybe train for a 10k with the goal of beating my time in the 2004 Tufts 10K of 1:06:27. Then today out of the blue I changed my mind. A group of ladies on Triangle Mommies were talking about the Ramblin Rose Durham Half Marathon on October 16. I naturally looked it up. I saw that today was the last day to register at the least expensive registration fee. It's in my hometown. On the same day one of my running buddies is thinking about running the Hershey Half. Surely that is a sign. What was I to do? I did a brief research session on whether I could be ready in four and a half months. I have not run consistently for over a month. What am I thinking? In the end, I decided to register. I am hoping that having a goal will motivate me to keep running. After a month of inconsistent running, it was really easy to sleep in this morning and skip the opportunity to run. If I don't run I will gain weight and be grumpy. I want to run. A lot. But sometimes, more often lately, it is just too easy to skip it.

So I am starting this blog, like so many journals before. I want to document this training experience as I go through it. Sometimes when I think back to my previous running life - before children when I had nothing but time - I wish I could remember the specifics. How often did I run? How far? How fast? This time I'll keep track in the hopes that I remain motivated. And that in time I can look back and see how far I've come.