2009 Bastille Days w/niece

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amazing 6 miler and Expo

I bought a new pair of running shoes 3 months ago - actually it was an early Christmas present from hubby. Anyway, for spending over a certain dollar amount I received this Timex Ironman watch. It either did not come with a manual or I lost it so I had not tried it before. I did try it today after looking up manual online. I think the watch helped motivate me to run a really good 6 miles. According to my running plan for the half marathon I ran last weekend I am supposed to be in recovery this week so I was only planning on running 6 miles. My comfortable normal running pace is a 10 min mile. However today I was feeling really good and felt like pushing a little - which actually felt really good. I ended up running the 6 miles in 53:31 ave pace of 8:55. I think this was the fastest 6 miles I ever ran.

Mile 1 - 8:30
Mile 2 - 8:48
Mile 3 - 9:36
Mile 4 - 8:51
Mile 5 - 8:50
Mile 6 - 8:56

Can you tell from the splits which mile I had to stop to tie my shoe? I did not stop the clock for that.

Felt great after the run - did my stretching and foam rolling and headed off to the multisport expo. By the time I got to the expo Kevin K was already doing his time trial. I watched him for a while and also went to listen to the speakers talking about running form and then a discussion on forefoot vs heel strike. I also tried on my 1st pair of Newtons. OMG - I HAVE to get a pair!!! Been trying to make sure if I spend the money I will have plenty left for England. Even considered not buying hubby's perscriptions (JK). Although according to his neurologist he may be able to come off of his antiseizure medicine soon since he has not had a seizure in two years. We usually have about $4k in dr bills and perscriptions in a year - plus the cost of insurance which keeps going up. Could be worse. Cannot imagine how my brother is ever going to pay his medical bills since he got leukemia last year. Those meds are expensive. Anyway, I am thinking I will just get the Newtons and if I have to I will cash in some bonds I have if I am running short on cash for England. Where there is a will there is a way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Great time at the gym - so proud of myself.

This week has been hectic so far at work and I have been working long days and missing my workout. Today I made a point of only working 11 hours and getting to the gym by 6 for my class.

I started with a mile warm up run. Then an amazing upper body and core workout. Today almost every exercise involved medicine balls. Pushups on one medicine ball is great - pushups on two medicine balls suck. I had a really hard time getting the 20 done. Also did tricep dips. Throwing and catching the medicine ball, wall squat swinging medicine ball between legs and above head. Situps with medicine ball. The crunches while balancing on bosu ball lifting medicine ball into air also sucked. I kept losing balance and putting a foot down. Also did russian twists and tricep dips. I did get a comment that I make tricep dips look easy. And I was thinking they have gotten a lot easier. Surprised they did not have me do dips with feet on the medicine ball. That does make it harder. None of the above was in the order I did them and I am probably missing a few. Ended with switching between plank on forearms moving to plank on hands to lifting a hand and leg and repeating that a few times. Was a great workout and I am feeling it.

After workout went upstairs to run another 2 miles on track. Was hoping for more but was pretty tired after core and upper body workout. Calf felt a little tight after the first two laps so I stopped and stretched and massaged it. Then it felt fine and I started the 2 miles over and had no other problems. Possibly could have been due to poor hydration over the past few days.

This was my first trip to the gym since my half marathon and of course I brought in my finishers medal. Although before I showed off my medal I had 4 or 5 of the trainers ask me how it went along with a few of the office workers and one of the gym members. I guess they had been asking each other the past few days if anyone has seen me to see how it went. I love the support I have at the gym. They were all so excited for me and loved the finishers medal. What a high. I showed it off to a few of my other gym friends also. My trainer (not a big runner) said he claimed 10% of my success. HA! I do give him credit for pushing me to run at the start when I hated it. He kept making me do it. And I must admit when I would run after some of the classes he would always tell me to do an extra half mile to mile from what I was planning on doing and I always did it. Don't know what it is about him but I always do what he tells me to do - or at least attempt it. Anyway, I will give him a little credit but not 10%. I was the one out there doing the running. Still on such a high. While I was in class today the lady that signed me up was showing about 3 different new people the gym and brought them in to show off my achievement. She always says I am the person they talk about the most to new clients and I believe it. They have stories and pictures of a few people up at the gym and over the past few years they did 3 stories on my progress. They still have all 3 posting up on the wall or on the table of greatest achievers. I just know now that I did a half marathon they will want new pictures to create a new posting.

I am feeling so proud of myself today.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My 1st Half Marathon - Icebreaker Indoor Marathon

I have never written a race report before so here goes.

It turned out to be longer than I thought so breakdown is - 1st paragraph is comments on training for the half. 2nd paragraph is pre-run. 3rd paragraph is race report. 4th paragraph is what will be next.

Paragraph 1 - A half marathon - WOW. I only started running about 10 months ago and at that time hated it and had a hard time running 0.1 mile. But I kept up with it - due to pressure from my trainer Justin and after about a month I caught it - the running bug. I slowly build my distance every week and soon was doing 8-10 miles. I ran a few 5k's and and 8k race and I fell in love with races right away. So I decided to do a half marathon. I did not want to wait until Spring and I cannot afford to travel right now so I was glad when I found the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. While running laps on a track is not my ideal for a first half marathon I really did not want to have to wait so I signed up. Then I heard about training plans but most of what I found right away were run-walk methods (which I also had never heard of before). Being new to running I really feel like I am in the dark on a lot of things. Finally I found a plan I liked from runners world and started following that. But that did not last very long. It was a 20 week plan and I followed the plan for about 4 weeks and was finding that I hated it. I did not like being told when to run what. I like to run for fun. However that is not why I quit my training plan. I started having pain in my chest that lasted throughout the day even during exercise. The doctor said it could be a ton of things but told me no exercise until I could see a cardiologist. So I had no exercise for about a week and a half. It was a very long week and a half. Had my stress test and the cardiologist said the test results do not get any better than that and I was cleared to exercise again. Running came back slowly and was a little painful at first. It is amazing at how quickly you can lose muscle strength and endurance. But just like everyone was telling me it would be about 2-3 weeks before I would be back to where I was at and sure enough that is what happened. So at that point I was way off of my running schedule and since I hated it before I quit it altogether. However, I still ran a few easy shorter runs a week along with one tempo run or interval run a week and my long run once a week. I basically tried adding another half mile to mile during my longer runs and sometimes giving a break and running less. Things were going great and I bumped my mileage up to running 12 miles very comfortably. Then came Christmas and New Years. I was planning on running the weekend after Christmas but that did not happen since I found myself with a ton to do before leaving on a trip the following Tuesday morning. So the week after Christmas I was visiting my brother in Wyoming from Tuesday - Sunday and I had a great time but found myself not running at all that whole week which was a mistake. I came back after new years and found running to be hard again. However, I really wanted to run 13 miles before the half just to see if I could do it - probably another mistake. So I did my lighter runs that week and then went for my long run. It started good and was fine up until about mile 10. I probably should have stopped but did not. I ran really slow and it was painful - I added in walking breaks but I was determined to finish. The last mile I walked a lot of it but I did finish the 13 miles. I knew now that no matter what I could finish my half marathon. Then the next week went and normal and I had my last long run before the half - which I only did 10 miles as part of starting to taper. Taper was harder than I thought. All of the runs the week before were very hard. I kept telling myself to go slow and take it easy. In the end it worked out well but I did not realize those runs would be so hard to get through. I was also getting very nervous and started to wonder why I was doing this and if I could do it. I did receive a lot of support this week from my new found running friends mostly from Brandon's Marathon Podcast - Brandon, Kevin, Trea, and Allan all gave great support - along with some other people. My sparkpeople.com friends also gave great support.

Paragraph 2 -Race day came and I was surprisingly no longer nervous. I had a pretty normal sleep and was feeling good. I had my clothes ready but did not pack my bag until that morning - good thing I am an early riser. I decided to have a mini bagel with organic almond butter and a fruit spread for breakfast. But then I was still hungry so I had another. I was still hungry after that and decided maybe I was a little nervous. I did not want to have too much in my belly so I did not eat any more. I was planning on eating an apple an hour and a half before the run - which I did eat. I had my computer on all morning - but not really paying much attention to it. Kevin K. chatted with me on Facebook for a little bit which was nice. I packed my bag and checked it I think a million times. I did not even have that much to bring.

Paragraph 3 - So I get to the Pettit Center, pick up my chip, find where to put my gear, and started to get ready. My husband Mike came with me and it was good to have him there for support. My stepmother Tammy and my Niece Rhiannon also showed up. They wished me luck. They started off with announcements. Being that this was an indoor marathon we were running laps on a track. We were supposed to run on the outside of the track and pass on the inside lane. There were only two lanes but we could fit 3 runners across. I started out slow as planned. I ran the 1st mile behind someone going at a pace I wanted to stay at. However after the 1st mile I could not go that slow anymore. I passed him and still stayed slow for another couple of miles. Then I picked it up to my comfortable running pace. The Pettit center has two ice rinks in the center one with kids hockey and the other with figure skaters and a circle of ice around that where they had speed skaters skating. The running rink was around all of that. Being that the race track was around an ice rink it was a cool 50 degrees the whole race. It was wonderful but I wish I would have stopped to put on my gloves. They had stands on the sides. Around the track they had our numbers listed where we put our gear and at one end there was a table with water and Poweraid. We had to bring our own water bottles but they would fill them as needed. I was watching the skaters for most of the race and this helped time to fly by. Having my family in the stands helped. Rhiannon who is 3 was cheering and brought out some pink pom-poms for the last half. They did leave and come back a few times. I am not sure when Kevin (kctris) showed up but I guess it was at about mile 5. Kevin was great support and it was nice to have him there. He said that I was looking good and I was feeling good. I usually have a gel about halfway through and they said they would have gels but I was glad I brought my own. I don't think they started actually handing out gels until about an hour and a half into the race - but I may be wrong and just did not notice it. I must say the people working the tables were great. You called out your bib number and at the next lap they had your water bottle ready and handed it off as you ran by. I was originally planning on walking water stops but did not need to. Since I was running a nice easy pace and not focusing on speed I was feeling great and no pain at all. We had to run 47.7 laps so when I had 8 laps to go I picked up the pace a little. I was feeling good and knew I would finish. So I ran pretty strong for about 5 laps and then was feeling it so I got my water and ran a little slower and even walked a few steps - probably about 15 steps. Then I felt strong again and ran the rest of the lap at an easy pace. Kevin yelled out to my at the start of my last lap that Brandon (from Brandon's Marathon) called to see how I was doing. My spirits were already high but that elevated them even more. I was now on my last lap and was feeling great so I pushed it and ran the whole last lap very strong. This was exactly how I wanted to run my race. This was an Olympic style race so those running the half got a bronze metal, the marathon runners (who ran the following day) got a silver metal and if you ran both you received a gold medal. I received my bronze medal with pride and met my family and talked with Kevin for a bit.

chip time 2:13:38
142/190 total (note they had 2 separate races and this is combination of both)
58/92 females
57/75 in my age group (30-39)
28/41 in my division (female runners in their 30's)

Paragraph 4 - What will I do next - I am not sure. I do have another half scheduled for May 1st in Kenosha (which Kevin said he may run also - that would be great!). Will that be my next one or will I do another one before that I am not sure. Also I do want to run a marathon. I am really unsure about that. Can I really run twice what I just ran - I don't know. But I am thinking about doing the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in October this year. I have a little time to decide on that though. Also, thinking about running the Rock and Roll Chicago half in August with some of my Sparkpeople.com friends. Would be nice to meet them also.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

easy 3.5 miles

I was going to do a 3 mile easy run today. I kept feeling myself push harder and then have to slow down. Finally I gave in and ran an extra .5 mile at a slightly faster pace and that felt great. I have been feeling like I have been slacking lately. I never thought taper would be hard to do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

easy run & light strength

Today I did a 1 mile easy run. I found myself going a little harder than I would like so I stopped and walked a few steps and then started my jog again. Then I did some light upper body strength and core exercises. Finished with a light 2 mile run. Felt great today.

Monday, January 18, 2010

3 mile easy run

I was going to run a 5 mile easy run at the gym as part of my taper. However, I was having a bad night. I really did not feel like doing the run. Then I get to the gym and the parking lot is really full. I circled a minute thinking I should just skip it and go home. But I did not. I parked at the back of the lot and went in and started my run. There were not too many people on the track but there was this one guy that I just had to laugh at. It is great that he was out there running but he looked so stiff as a board and kept his arms toward the top of his chest it looked funny. He was running forefoot and his heels never touched the ground and while he was not the fastest person there he did go faster than I was going. Anyway it kept my mind occupied for a while. The first mile was hard. I was also having problems keeping my form. Personally I think it was my shoes. I have a pair of shoes that are a month and a half old. I have rarely worn them and only wear them on my shorter runs. They are a high stability shoe which I think was a mistake. My shins were sore. I did look into returning them but they only allow returns within 30 days. They also have an insert that I think I will take out and try running without that. Since I don't have money for new shoes they will have to do for now and maybe they will not be so bad after taking the inserts out. In the meantime my older shoes are still in great shape and really are not that old either since I rotate them. Anyway, I really struggled today but did complete 3 miles by telling myself to keep running through one more song. My shins were starting to hurt a little so I stopped at 3 miles since I don't want to injure myself before my race on Sat. I got home and looked on my training schedule and I am only supposed to do 3 mile runs this weeks so I feel pretty good that I did get in the 3 miles.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And the taper begins

I looked at my running schedule and it said 12 miles today. That seems crazy since I thought I was supposed to taper. It looks like the running plan I have does not have too much of a taper so I altered it. I was not following it too closely anyway. Last week I ran a full 13.1 more or less to see if I could do it and it was horrible. I had done a 12 mile run a few weeks before without a problem and if I was better prepared the 13.1 would have been better - but I finished it.

So today I did a 10 mile run. Some of the other plans have you do less than that and some more. 10 miles felt good. I think maybe I should have done less but I really wanted to do 10.

I ran today at the gym on the track. I started out stronger than I would have liked. I thought about slowing but it felt good. Then during the third mile someone was right on my heels for about a mile and a half. That was really annoying but I really wanted to keep my pace. Then they went to a class. I started to get a little stomach cramp and thought that the apple I had right before the run was a bad idea. Normally I don't eat right before running - usually an hour before but I was hungry so I ate the apple. Anyway, the cramp went away and after mile 6 I had a gel. The gel did not sit well in my stomach so I had a little pain for about a mile. It was not bad but that has not happened before with the gel. Maybe it was still the apple. Then I was struggling through mile 8 and thinking how am I going to be able to do 13.1 miles next week. Then at beginning of mile 9 my favorite song for the end of a run came on. It's on by Superchick. "And though you want to quit, Don't think you can get through it, You've come to far to walk away, it's not gonna be today, And no matter how you feel, it's what you do that matters, This is your moment to be strong, Today's your Day, It's On". All of a sudden I got a big boost of energy, legs were feeling fine, and I finished the full 10 miles planned. Then I did an extra lap as fast as I could go because I felt so great. It was more of a mental battle today through the middle of my run.

I ended with a 15 min walk - which I love the walks. It feels great to just walk and think. Then while I was stretching a girl that has been training with one of the trainers came over. (We talk sometimes.) She has been running for a little while - with many walk breaks. I admire her because my guess is that she is currently about 250 lbs and I could not even think of attempting to run when I was that big. Anyways, she said that the suggestions I gave her about warm up, stretch, run, cool down, stretch, foam roll, and ice the legs were helping with the pain in her legs. She thanked me for the suggestions and then she said she admired me. That felt so great. She admired me for my running and said I look great. She also admires me for losing 135 lbs. She has already lost over 100 lbs and is very proud of that. It is nice that there are so many friendly people at the gym. Now I just cannot wait for the new years resolution people to drop off. Although Saturdays are better than during the week.

Ran 10 miles today on indoor track. Temp a little warm but not too bad. Time 1 hour 40 min. Did not do negative splits. Started out too fast - slow middle - ended at a nice pace.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am new to blogging and just giving this a test.