Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Goals

I am not ready for a 10k.

There - I said it.

I was (sort of) on track for it, but then there was a case of the flu and strep throat. I missed a long run there. Then Brent was away this last weekend and I missed that long run. I don't feel prepared.

Running is supposed to be fun for me. The 10k race being so close and being so unprepared for it was stressing me out. So I decided to hold off. I am ok with that.

So this morning I registered for 2 other local races. I have a PR goal for each one.

First is a 5k in 3 weeks. The goal is to run it faster than 33 minutes.

3.1 miles through some farm roads. Excited!

Second is the Running of the Bulls 8k on June 2. The goal is to beat my 8k time from last Thanksgiving.

Should be a fun race from my favorite running store.

So there it is. New attainable goals to get me through the next month or so.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I love that dirty water!

Oh Boston, I miss you so much!

I just can not let tomorrow go by without a special shout out to my favorite town!

I am Philadelphia born and raised, but my heart is in Boston. I lived there for 10 years while Brent was in graduate school. I was married in Massachusetts. My children were born steps from Fenway Park. Some of the greatest friendships of my life were forged in Boston.

The obscure holiday of Patriots Day is virtually unknown to the rest of the country. But in Boston it means a random Monday off of work. It means the Red Sox playing at Fenway. And of course it means the Boston Marathon. The city was filled with people and the excitement was everywhere.

Every year we watched the marathon at my sister-in-law's childhood home. Mile 19. Comm. Ave. The bottom of Heartbreak Hill. In 2003 I was able to volunteer at a water stop around mile 20 right in front of Boston College. That was awesome.

Watching the 2006 Marathon with Morgan.

So every year since leaving Boston, my heart gets a little heavy for my adopted home town. I honestly never miss Boston as much as I do on Marathon Monday!

Boylston St in Copely Square. I can see my favorite running store in the background!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The one where I get the flu, kick strep throat to the curb and run a 5k

Happy Saturday! I had fantastic day today. More on that in a bit.

First I need to talk about last Saturday. The OMG I'm so sick Saturday. I woke up with every intention to run 6 miles. But the second I got out of bed I knew that was not going to happen. Everything hurt. I thought it was from a fantastic run I had the day before so I got some coffee and sat down for a while. Then all of the sudden it hit me. My temperature started rising. I started getting the shakes and I was unbelievably tired. I spent the rest of the day in and out of sleep with a temperature hovering around 102.

Easter dinner was supposed to be at my house, but I nixed that pretty quickly. I had high hopes for Sunday, but they were pretty futile as Sunday sucked worse than Saturday. Sunday my temp was in 104 land and I slept most of that day too. FUN! I could barely stand up. Then my throat started hurting. A LOT.

My fever broke Sunday night and I started antibiotics on Monday for strep throat. I stayed home in bed for Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday the antibiotics had done their thing and I was feeling human enough to go back to work, but I knew that there was nothing in the tank for any sort of running.

I would have run on Thursday but my work and child care schedules were having none of that. By the time Friday rolled around I decided to save it all for today.

Today I ran my first 5k since 2004.

This was a great race. It was the culmination of a 12 week
running program designed to get young girls running.

I woke up this morning ready to go. I wanted to run so bad! The weather was fan-flipping-tastic. Sunny skies, cool temps.  I ran this race solo so I was able to wander around and check out all of the pre-race activities.  We started at the Durham Bulls Ball Park and quickly headed over the the Forest Hills section of Durham. There were a few moderate hills but over all it felt pretty flat with some nice down hill sections (my fav!).

Even though I had my Soleus on me I tried to avoid looking at it. I wanted to run by feel and not be freaked out if I saw a faster pace. So I was surprised that when I looked down for the first time I was already a mile and a half into the race. I was feeling really good. Immediately after that we turned a curve and the water stop was right there. I walked through the water stop to drink and blow my nose (hello allergies, nice to see you!) before taking off again.

I was grateful to run through sections of Forest Hills without many hills. This area was killer in the Half last year. There was one pretty decent sized hill just after 2 miles just as we  were making our way onto the American Tobacco Trail. I made it up the hill, but allowed myself to walk for 15 seconds to recover. After that it was just a final push to the finish.

My "A" goal for this race was 33 minutes. I have been running at 11min/mile pace lately and I wanted to run this race at that pace without stopping too much. My watch time was 33:54. After coming off of a week without running and a gnarly sickness, I am really happy with that. Official results don't get posted until Monday (WTH?).

Overall, it was a great race experience and definitely of some of the feel-good endorphins flowing.

Cheese ball self portrait at the start.
Totally Badass.

Edited to add: Official time was 33:48. #131/266 of the timed runners.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I'm so proud of these feet!

I'm pretty sure a picture of your feet is required in every running blog.

 Last night was my weekly hill run. I have set up a little weekly challenge for myself to run a very hilly 3 mile trail every Wednesday night. My watch stays on even through the walking breaks. The goal is to watch my time decrease as I walk less, my pace gets faster and I increase my endurance on those tough hills. I was psyched last week with my time of 37:24. I had powered through the first 1.4 miles of the trail up hills I had to walk 2 weeks before. I felt really good and I gave it my all.

So when I set out last night I was scared. I had really given it my all last week. How could I possibly do more?

Somehow I did.

I made it through the  first 1.4 miles. At precisely 1.41 miles is a hill that I am pretty sure the devil placed there himself. I made it about 1/8th of the way up. But that is an 1/8th of the way farther than last week.

This week I made it up hills on the second half of the run that I know I walked last week. In the last 0.6 miles, which are gloriously downhill, I saw my pace reach the 10min/mi mark which is a full minute faster than my normal pace. I was hauling ass in the hopes of finishing somewhere in the 36 minute mark.

My time was 35:42. Flipping A! In 4 weeks of my personal challenge I have shaved over 3 minutes of my time.

I was feeling great afterwards, which got me thinking about a couple of things:

1. I am ok out of my comfort zone. I find when it comes to running I am afraid to push myself very far. Perhaps this stems from the fact that I run by myself with no one else around to push me. I'm afraid I will get tired. I'm afraid I'll fail. But the fact is that I can push myself a little harder sometimes. I can run a little faster than what is comfortable or go a little longer. This is what will make me a better runner.

2. I almost skipped this run because of some passing thunder storms. In the end I waited out the storms and went for a run. I wasn't very hopeful because I had a horrendous run the day before. It ended up being an awesome run with a great runner's high as a reward.  From now on when I find myself wanting to skip a run I am going to remember this run and wonder if by skipping a run I am going to miss out on this awesome sense of accomplishment.

Finally, I was originally feeling a little silly posting about how awesome I felt after running 3 hilly miles in 35 minutes. Surely, my awesome run is still viewed by others as painfully slow. But then this morning this popped up in my Goggle reader. I am a new reader to this blog, but this post just spoke to me today. The only person I can compare myself to is me. I am running better than I did 4 weeks ago and that kicks ass!

Monday, April 2, 2012

10k Training: Week 3

Better than last week.

Over all this past week was not so bad. I was feeling really good in the beginning of the week and carried it through the rest of the week. So here it is:

Monday: Spin class + arms + core. I got to the gym early enough to do some arm work before class. The class itself was amazing! I really gave it everything I had. During the class we did some upper body work which was pretty much one handed push ups while pedaling our little hearts out. These wrecked my triceps and made me sufficiently sore to bag any plans I had for more arm work for the rest of the week.

Tuesday: Rest day after an amazing gym day Monday

Wednesday: My weekly hill run. I shaved another 42 seconds off of my original time and felt great.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 2.5 mile neighborhood run before work.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 5 mile "long" run on the American Tobacco Trail. This run was fantastic. I felt great. The weather was awesome. This was my first 5 miler since starting back at running this year and was just fun.

Proud Mama

These days, I identify myself as a mother first and foremost. I do nearly everything with my children in mind some way or another. Am I am perfect parent? That's laughable. But I try my best to teach them right and set a good example.

So imagine how proud I was this past Saturday when my six year old told me that he wants to run with me. He said that exercise is good for the body and he wants to run just like me. So I laced up some shoes and we went for a run around the neighborhood. He started running really fast and I had to tell him to slow down. Once he got into a manageable pace we started running together and talking about the things we saw and how much he liked running. He asked if when he got older he could run farther with me. I said of course. I told him that someday soon he was going to get stronger and be faster than me. He was confident. "Yeah", he said, "I'll be way faster than you."  We didn't get too far, maybe about 0.3 miles, before he had to turn back home to go potty. But it was the best little run of my life.

Me and my new running partner after his first
official race last 4th of July.