Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yesterday was my 35th birthday!

I don't really know what to make of it. It sounds a little old in some respects. A little young in others. Sometimes I feel like I am 25. And I definitely have the sense of humor of a 13 year old. In the end it is just a number so I haven't really put that much thought into it.

I started the day off with a hot and sweaty 4 miler.

90% humidity = sweatastic run
I was a little rusty since I have not run a whole lot in the past week. There are a couple of reasons. One was Brent's crazy work schedule. He had a lot of early mornings which cut into my run time. It's just as well since I am dealing with what I think might be a touch of plantar fasciitis. I was in denial for a while, but after some intense research this weekend, I am pretty sure that is what is going on in my feet and calves. More on that in a later post because this is supposed to be a fun birthday post....

After my run and some intense stretching, icing and massaging Brent and I were able to escape  for a couple of hours to go to the movies. And then back home for my requested b-day dinner of Chinese take out and some good old Pennsylvania beer!

Always my favorite! (via)

All in all a super fun day. I am definitely looking forward to the year ahead!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Purple Pick Me Ups

The other day I was a little whiny and I was ready to break up with running. I am happy to report that in a few hours time I got over myself and moved on.

Spoiler: I did not break up with running. In fact, a little running related retail therapy perked me right up.

Hello new Adrenalines! Welcome home!

Early that morning, I tackled the same route on which I failed miserably on Tuesday. Several things were different. 1) I had enough sleep the night before. 2) I ate a little something before had. Fuel is good. 3) I brought my water with me. I didn't really need it, but it is comforting for me to have. I was pretty pleased with how the run went.

I am still working on my endurance. I found that I am much more willing to push myself when I leave the Garmin running during my walk breaks. It seems so obvious when I think about it. I did stop my watch at intersections though and I will admit that at some intersections I may have taken my time getting back into my stride. Baby steps here, people.

Five miles tomorrow in my new shoes! Can't wait!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Whiny post ahead...

Warning - it is about to get whiny over here.

He's so lucky to have me as a wife.

I woke up extra special early so I could run before work (even though I had to be at work earlier than usual, go me!). Luckily the run gods provided me with a monsoon-free window in which to run. I set out to do my usual 3 mile loop. About half a mile in I knew something was wrong. I had been running at what I thought was a tough effort. When I looked at my Garmin and saw I was on pace for a 12 minute mile I was shocked. After a mile my legs were lead and did not want to move. I suffered through another 0.9mile before calling it and walking the rest of the way.

Ok, so I had a bad run. It happens. What really pisses me off is why I had a bad run.  Basically I let some stupid posts on a stupid internet forum get in my head. I stumbled upon this forum via Twitter and started reading it. Basically the posters critique popular running bloggers. In the end it is kind of ridiculous. A bunch of people hiding behind their computers reading blogs that I happen to enjoy just to go to another site and rip them apart. It is the total antithesis of the supportive running community that I am trying to be a part of.

In one thread they were ripping on people who carry water with them on runs, especially short runs. I personally carry water on every single run. Who the F cares? Why do I care? It doesn't make me less of a runner. I hydrate well during the day. But if I want to take water with me then I am going to do it.

Another thread discussed people who stop their Garmins in the middle of a run. This I am guilty of. I am aware that the clock doesn't stop on race day and I am padding my splits by pausing my watch during my walking breaks. So I am going to try to get better with this. Also maybe try not to take so many walk breaks.  I really need to work on my overall fitness. And my mental game. I have to be able to get past the temptation of stopping when I get the slightest bit tired.

In the end I am going to avoid the negative sites and continue reading the blogs that inspire me. Yes, they pretty much all run farther and faster then me. But I find them inspiring and they make me want to run. And in the end I run for me and no one else.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My week in review

Alrighty then, it is Sunday night so let's wrap this week up, shall we?

Kara Goucher, I am not, but I am pretty pleased with this week.

Monday: Spinning and core work. The instructor spins for 45 min then does a 15 minute core session right afterwards. I was able to get a one-on-one session with her after class since no one else stuck around. Sweet!  This will be my last spin class for the summer though. With Morgan out of school and in Summer camp, our afternoon schedules have changed and I won't be able to make it to this class until Summer Camp is over. Big frown....

Tuesday: 3 miles around Duke before work.

Wednesday: Rest day. Monday night spin and a Tuesday morning spin zapped me a bit. Plus I had to bring Morgan into karate class after work, so time was super limited.

Thursday: My weekly hill run. No records broken this week, just a solid hill run before work. This was also Morgan's last day of Kindergarten. He's officially a first grader! How did this happen?!?!

Friday: Rest day. Not by choice, but Morgan was out of school and Summer camps don't start until Monday so I had to drop him off with Grandma in the morning and then pick him up afterwards. A lot of time in the car when I'd rather be strength training.

Saturday:  A quick 2 miles so I could still be straight with the Another Mother Challenge. Also I had spent the morning on Twitter and couldn't stand reading about everyone's awesome running. I had to go. Afterwards I left Brent and the kids behind to go up to my parents' house to check in on my mom who just had knee surgery. And I got to check in on the ducklings too!

They are getting so big! Still cute!

Sunday: 5 mile run. I chose to run miles 2-6 of the Ramblin' Rose half marathon. It was nice to run a new route with some new music. It was a pretty warm North Carolina morning and I will definitely have to get used to warm weather running again. I had to stop a couple of times to cool down. My pace was a little slower than what I have been running, but I attribute that to the distance and the heat. I was pleased though that my splits were pretty consistent throughout:

Ignore the 6th split, my brain was fried and I had
to fight with my Garmin to get it to turn off.

All in all,  it was a good solid run that ended with this.

Woot! Best husband ever!

After a nap we headed to Morgan's stripe test at karate. He earned his second yellow stripe. Next stop is a full yellow belt.

Oh then there was this. Just some more Twitter flirtation with my pal Bart.

This made my day!

So that is my week. A pretty solid training week as I try to build up my base before Half training starts up soon.  It will be interesting to see how this next week plays out with our new summer schedule.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!

My Twitter feed is flooded this morning with mentions of National Running Day. A huge social media celebration.

I should have the day off of work. Seriously.

To celebrate National Running Day, I am going to declare that I AM a Runner.

Seems so simple, right?

But actually it is not so black and white. I have read countless blog posts tackling this very question, "What makes someone a real runner?". My favorite running blogs are written by some seriously speedy ladies who run really far. While I love the inspiration they provide I often find myself plagued with self doubt after reading them....I'm too slow, I don't run very far, I don't have the body of a runner.I take walk breaks during a run. Slowly coming to terms with all of theses thoughts.

I run pretty slowly compared to most other runners. I will never be super speedy. It is TBD if I will ever even be considered "moderately speedy". I will never win a race I enter and most likely will never even place in my age group.

I will never run in an ultramarathon (even though I love reading about people who do). I may never compete in a full marathon.

Do these things make me less of a runner? I'd like to think not.

I LOVE to run. I run whenever I can and am always trying to get better. When I am not actually running, I am thinking about running. Or reading about running. Or mapping a new run.

I am a runner because I love running. Simple. Maybe it is black and white after all.

So if I am never going to actually going to win a race, why do I run?

I run because it makes me feel good.
So happy to be done my second half marathon.

I love how I feel after a good workout. I love the endorphin rush. I love the sense of accomplishment after running a race.

I run because it sets a good example. 
Hannah wants to run with Mommy.

I love how my children think that exercise is a normal part of everyday life. I love that they ask how my run was when they see my in my running clothes. I love that they want to run with me. I love that 4 year old Hannah told me that she had to do yoga because her hip hurt. (Sad, I know, but the sentiment was there.)

I run for the challenge.
Busted! Walking in my 8k this past weekend.

Running is hard. I don't think I will anytime soon be able to write that I went out for "an easy 7 miles" before work. But I know that if I put in the effort I will see results. I love that I don't have to compete against anyone but myself.

I run for me.
Sweaty and happy!

I am a mother of 2 young children. I am a wife to a man who works an insane amount of hours every week. I love my family so much, but they can be very demanding of my time and attention. Running is the one thing in my life that I do just for me. It truly makes me happy, which in turn makes me a better mother, a better wife, and a better person.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Running of the Bulls 8k Recap

I woke up this morning and for the first time in over a week there was NO pain in my hip!


Good thing too since I had the Running of the Bulls 8k to run. (I super don't get this race distance. Tack on an extra 0.03 miles and call it a 5 miler. Whatevs) I was excited to run this race since it is put on my favorite running store and I have heard great things about it.

I woke up this morning bright and early and was excited to see that the rain had dried up and the weather was brisk and not so humid. I had my coffee and toast and was out the door.

I got there a little early so I had plenty of time to get up close and personal with my Body Glide and stretch out my hip a little bit. My legs felt fresh and I was ready to go.

I also had enough time for cheese
ball self portraits. 

I didn't know what to think going into this race. I have not run any runs longer than 3 miles in 2 weeks and my hip has been bothering me for over a week. I have not run in the 5 days preceding this event. My goal for the race was to beat my Turkey Trot time from last year (56:45). I wasn't sure how this was going to go.

As the gun went off I was situated in the back of the pack because I had a feeling this was going to be a slow day. Unfortunately I noticed after a half mile that my Garmin was not timing me so my time on my watch was a little off. That continued to bug me for the rest of the race. The first mile and a half or so were flat or down hill. I was feeling pretty good.

I made it to the first water stop just around the mile 2 marker and walked through it to get some gatorade. After this it was difficult to keep a consistent effort going and ended up pretty much run/walking it to the end. Miles 3 and 4 were definitely not so pretty but for the last 0.97 mile I really tried to finish strong. Good crowd support towards the end and a down hill finish were a nice touch.

We ended with a lap in the Durham Athletic Park - the former home of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team and made famous by the movie Bull Durham.

Thank God it was an old (read: very small) stadium, because
I gave it all I had in the final lap.

Immediately after the finish, I was greeted with this.

Yes Please! (Spoiler: That's not
Vitamin Water in there!)

Local craft brews served as a post race refreshment at 8:30am. Best Race Ever!

Oh look! Another self portrait. Good beer!

My final time was 56:58. Not great. 13 seconds slower than my last 8k. But coming off an injury and hardly any running, I should have expected that. I have a lot of fitness work to do as I get closer and closer to my next half marathon training cycle.

All in all, although my goal was not met, I ran (and walked) pain free. On to the next!