Tuesday, September 18, 2012

That's what I'm Talking About!

Finally! Dailymile isn't lying to me!

You're darn right it was fantastic!  I set out to do everything I said I was going to do.

  • 4 days of running.  Check
  • 1 5-6 miler: Check
  • 1 Hill run. Check.
  • 1 Easy run. Check
  • 1 Long run. Freaking check plus!


I know that these miles aren't breaking any records, but I am so freaking proud of them.

Let's talk about that 10 miler, shall we?  I was so nervous about my long run this week. Last week's long run was an epic fail and I was pretty sure that my fragile mindset was not going to be able to handle another dismal outing.

I spent the weekend visiting my family back home in Philadelphia. A few days beforehand I spent about an hour mapping out the perfect downtown route only to find out that my route was also about most of the Rock and Roll Philly Half Marathon route, which was the same day. I spent about a day wondering if I should just register for the race even though I am not fully prepared. However, I could not justify spending the insane about of money that it would have cost to register at the expo.  It freaking sucks being a grown up and having to make mature financial decisions. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty bummed.

However, after I had a good little whine about it and picked myself up off of the floor I set out to find a new route. I picked Ridley Creek State Park, just outside of the city. I read some good reviews about  a 4.3 mile multi-use trail loop and it sounded good to me. I planned to run the loop twice and add a little extra at the end to get up to 10 miles.

I could not have picked a better day. It was sunny and in the 60's at the start.

The trail was awesome. There were tons of people out and lots to look at to pass the time. It was also great to run in a place where I didn't know every last detail about the route. I know most of my routes to the last inch and sometimes I find it hard when I am telling myself, "Ok, there is a steep hill in 0.3 miles" or "2 more miles of hills and then I can get a break". It was a welcome change to not know what was coming up.

 At the beginning of the loop was a seriously steep hill that lasted for over half a mile. I let myself walk up that one, but the rest of the loop was smooth sailing. My second time around I found some off shoots to explore so I could make up the miles. I had absolutely no desire to tackle that hill for a third time. 

By the time my Garmin chirped 10 miles I was smiling. It was a great run and exactly what this girl needed.

I found a nice little water fall to do some stretching afterwards. 

My photography skills are astounding.

This was a perfect ending to what I truly think was the best week yet of this training cycle. Exactly what I needed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Another Mother Runner's 10 Running Related Personal Questions

It is no secret that I love Dimity and SBS and the entire Another Mother Runner community. I have been a proud member of the tribe for quite some time now. So when they threw out a request for mother runners/bloggers to answer a few running related questions I was happy to oblige.

Here it goes....

1. Best run ever: The run that comes to mind when people ask me to name my most favorite run was a 10 miler I ran in preparation for the 2005 Run to Remember half marathon in Boston. The race was in the early Spring so I ran throughout the Winter. Throughout the New England Winter. My running pal and I headed to the Charles River path after a particularly heavy storm. The path was just inches of snow and slush. We had to take turns leading on the single lane path that other runners had made it the snow. We were soaked. At one point we came across a few fishermen who had found one spot of the river that wasn't iced over and were just pulling fish after fish out of the river. We stopped to talk to them and the told us they were fishing for carp. I mentioned that my dad was also a carp fisher. It turned out this random carp fisherman in Boston knew my dad, who lived it Philadelphia. They met at a fishing tournament. Such a small world. My pal and I continued on and finished our sloshy run. We rewarded ourselves with post-run beer and burgers. (Note: This answer will make no sense once you get to my answer for  question #6)

2. Three words that describe my running: Effective antidepressant substitute.

3. My go-to running outfit is: Running skirt, top, sports bra (all usually from Target), Brooks Adrenalines, Garmin, RoadID and ipod. And Body Glide. Lots of Body Glide.

4. Quirky habit while running:  I listen to catchy pop tunes that I would never normally admit to.


5. Morning, midday or evening: Most definitely a morning runner. Every run I have tried to do after 9am has been disastrous. I like getting it over with. It is a great way to start the day. Plus if I have to run later in the day, I spend the entire day stressing over what and when I eat to make sure everything is all settled come run time.

6. I won't run outside when it's: Too cold. Yeah, I know I just said my favorite run ever was in the Winter in Boston. I have since moved to North Carolina and my hearty New England blood has thinned considerably. When I told Dimity (from Denver) and Sarah (from Portland) that I found the winter in North Carolina to be "too cold", they let me have it.

Sarah made sure I would never forget to stop being a wimp
about Southern Winters.

7. Worst injury - and how I got over it: I really super don't want to jinx myself, but I have been pretty lucky on the injury front. But there was the time I was running along and face planted for no good reason in front of a couple of passing cars. I limped home and stayed off of my swollen ankle for a week.

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon after taking several years off of running. (2011 Ramblin Rose)

You can't see it but I am wearing
my BAMR shirt. How appropriate!

9. My next race is: Ramblin Rose Half Marathon - October 21

10. Potential running goal for 2013: I have several lofty goals for next year including working on speed through the winter for a 5k PR, a Spring half marathon and the Tar Heel 10 Miler (wearing a Duke shirt of course!).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Running Blues

All over my Google Reader are posts about peak training fatigue. While I hate to see other runners on the verge of burnout or low self confidence, it is oddly comforting that I am not alone.  In my case, burnout is not my issue. It's my self confidence.

It's been a couple of weeks since a stellar 10 mile run and I feel like I have not had a good run since then. Last week was a real downer of a week, despite was dailymile says.


I did hills and some speed work. But my long run was an epic fail. It was supposed to be 11 miles on my actual half marathon course. I ended up doing 8. I just didn't have it in me. I haven't even uploaded it from my Garmin yet because I just don't want to look at it. It will be full of walking breaks, paused stops and other such crappiness. I was devastated after this run. I think it was made worse by the fact that it was on my actual half marathon course. I mean, if I can barely do it now, what is it going to be like 6 weeks from now?

After a few minutes of whining about my first world runner problems I decided that there was no way I was going to quit. I have a very clear goal of beating last year's time and I have six more weeks to do it. (Ok, 5 1/2 weeks now because I am a blogging slacker.)  Here's a quick overview of my plan:

  • At least 4 days of running per week.
  • One mid-distance run per week: I only have time for 5-6 miles before work if I leave the house pretty early. But I need at least one mid-week run longer than 3-4 miles.
  • Hills: My first half marathon course is *&$%-ing hilly. I am running a very hilly 3 mile loop once a week
  • One easy run.
  • Long runs: I want to get in at least 3 more double digit runs before my first half this fall. My mental game needs a serious workout on the long runs though. This is where being a solo runner is the hardest.

In my opinion the only way out of my funk is to work harder. There is no way I am not going to do these races.

So far this week I have a 5 miler and a hill run down already. I'm going home to Philadelphia this weekend and looking forward to laying down 10ish miles in my hometown.

How do you build up your confidence in the middle of a training cycle?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Program

My very dear friend Carrie gave me a gchat beat down today for neglecting my blog.

I apologize. Sincerely.

Life has been....crazy.

First and foremost has been my job. In my real life I work in a lab that develops vaccines for infectious diseases. Lately I've been working on developing a vaccine for tuberculosis. Clearly, that is a valid reason for my lack of blogging. No?  Maybe one day I will get a picture of me in my space suit-like protective gear I have to wear in the lab. That should be good for a few laughs.

Secondly, my grandmother has been ill.

Man, I love her!

She was admitted to the hospital with kidney troubles and it was pretty touch and go for a while. But she's a tough one and pulled through and made it home surprisingly fast. Her 87th birthday is next week so my mom and I are planning to make the trip from NC to Philadelphia to be with her.

There was the first day of first grade!

We celebrated Brent's sister's wedding over Labor Day weekend! The weekend was so much fun. There were a lot of events leading up to the big day and family and friends came from all over. It was one of the best weekends I have had. So much eating, drinking, dancing and overall shenanigans.

And finally, there has been quite a bit of running. Including the first of several double digit runs leading up to my two half marathons this fall.

Now that life appears to be calming down, I hope to get back to my routine.