Thursday, March 28, 2013

Daily Thanks: Week of 3/24

Reviewing the past week, I broke 700 on my thankful list. 
 I've written down numbers 688-732. 
Here is a sampling:
692) Turning the other cheek
696) Kelly pushing my long run pace
697) Park bathrooms nearby during a long run
698) Kim's power gel recommendation
705) A clear word of wisdom from God
707) Church library selection
709) The Old Rugged Cross
715) Jay's work on the house
719) Movie night! & 720) Popcorn & Dr. K
724) Peaceful silence
729) Full moon reminding me:
 "He who watches over you will not slumber"
Psalm 121:3
730) Pink tinted sunrise
732) Sunny lunchtime walk

What have you been thankful for this past week?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Training Tuesday - Last Long Run CHKM

planned - Total Body weights class
actual - total body
planned - 3 X 1600 intervals
actual - 5 total miles including warm up, intervals, and cool down.  negative splits hit exactly as i'd planned.
planned - Total Body weights class
actual - rest

tired from 5 days (4 of which were intense) straight working out. 
planned - rest
actual - rest
planned - 14 mile long run
actual - 13.1 run

even those training for 26.2 only did 13 this weekend, so we decide to run the route with them.  pushed it for an extra 0.1 to get an idea of time.  this run was only 2 minutes slower than my PR at Columbia.  hoping that means i can push it in knoxville for a brand new PR.
 planned - rest
actual - rest
planned - cruise intervals 4 x 800
actual - 4 miles: warm up, intervals, cool down

should have been easy-ish (hence "cruise) but the wind made me fight to keep pace in a few spots.  over all though, i'm thrilled to hold a 8:30 pace fairly easily, even if it is just over a half mile.

This weekend we're "only" doing a 10 miler.  After running between 12-14 for so long, it hardly feels like a long run, which was of course the point.  To make that distance seem like nothing.  It'll feel weird running for less than 2 hours this weekend.

How's your training coming along?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fitness Friday - Survey Time!

1. What did you eat for breakfast? Oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins, and sugar.  I’m a sucker for sugar in my oatmeal, but at least the fruit helps me cut back my sugar consumption.

2. How much water do you drink a day? I’m sporadic. If I work at it, I easy get between 56 and 64 oz a day.  If I don’t, then I’m lucky to get in 24.

3. What is your current favorite workout? Is there anything but running?  Seriously though, I do weights because I need to, the occasional spin or walk for cross train, but running owns me heart & soul.

4. How many calories do you eat a day? I haven’t the foggiest.  I gave up on tracking for the duration of this half marathon training cycle.   

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks? I just discovered wasabi & soy almonds!

6. What do you usually eat for lunch? Leftovers – chili and the like or else prepackaged frozen entrees.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train? Biceps – the pumped look I get during a workout encourages me to keep it up.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train? Glutes/quads.  Me no likey when its painful to walk up/down the stairs.

9. What are your "bad" food cravings? McDonalds.  Donuts. Cupcakes. Soda. Chips. Candy bars.

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements? I’m currently growing out my hair to donate to Pantene beautiful lengths, so I take Biotin daily.  I haven’t noticed it helping with growth, but hopefully it is making my hair stronger for whoever receives the wig it will make. I also take a Flintstone chewable in the evenings when I remember (which is probably 4-5 times a week).

11. How often do you eat out? Too often.  Jay doesn’t cook, and I don’t enjoy cooking.  I get lazy and Taco Bell is cheap.

12. Do you eat fast food? *hangs head in shame*

13. Who is your biggest supporter? I am blessed with incredible family & friends.

14. Do you have a gym membership? Not technically.  My employer has a gym that I can use for free – including classes. 

15. How many hours of sleep do you get at night? 7-9. Rarely is my sleep uninterrupted, so I always get in bed early to get enough sleep.  I’m not a nice person sleep deprived.

16. Do you have a "cheat" day? The day after a long run, I get the rungries and can’t stop eating.

17. Do you drink alcohol? I do indeed.  Not nightly, but definitely several a week.

18. Do you have a workout buddy? One of my closest friends is also my coworker and training buddy.  Signing up for our first 5K (and doing the C25K program) was her idea.  I branched out on my own (hello marathons 1&2) while she took time off to have a baby, but I’m thankful to have her back.

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle? Running has very much boosted my confidence – I know how to set reasonable goals and work them to achieve the desired result.  It is also my sanity!

20. What was the last healthy thing you did? Refilled my water glass.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today I am Thankful...

From my thankful journal, numbers 647-687
647) A new heated blanket for the house
650) Another good netflix selection
654) Mother buying me a new notebook (because she knows I love them)
659) God's creation (granite) being molded into a beautiful, useful part of our kitchen
664) Windows open & a warm breeze
665) Attending church with my parents
669) Friends hang out with before/after a race
677) Trophy wife dinner
678) Ale Steak
684) Steak leftovers
For what have you be thankful this past week?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Training Tuesday - 19 Days Till CHKM

planned - total body weights class
actual - total body

planned - Tabata sculpt (lunch)/pub run (PM)
actual - Tabata sculpt/pub run
in both pictures, i'm the one in the center.  wearing NO green.  oops.
planned - total body weights class
actual - total body
planned - rest
actual - rest
planned - 12 mile long run
actual - 13 mile long run
The group route was 10 miles, so Kelly & I went out an extra mile to make the 12 we were shooting for.  And ended up with 13.  We're good at math.
planned -  Barley's 5K
planned - rest
actual - cycling
Normally the day after a long run is our rest day, but the race on Sunday counted as Monday's speed work.  Instead of taking the day off we hit spin class.  I suspect the ole legs will be desperately looking forward to my next rest day (Friday) by the time it comes 'round.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Barley's 5K - St. Patrick's Day

As with any event involving a car pool with Kelly, we got to the race early enough we easily found a parking spot, there were no lines at the registration table and no lines for the bathrooms.  She and I took a couple of laps around the block for a quick 1 mile warm up (around an 8:30 pace) and headed to the starting line.

My goals for the race were to PR (anything under 26:5X), 26:25 (what the equivalency calculator said I should be able to do considering my half time last weekend), and sub 26.  The last one was my never-gonna-happen-but-might-as-well-try goal.

The race results were gun time start/chip time finish.  Add to that the social nature of the race, and we decided to push up close to the front to start.  We spotted Daily Mile Joe for a brief chat, then the siren sounded and we were off.

The race started on an uphill, but thankfully we got the benefit of the downhill side before making a right turn.  I knew I was going fast when I saw DMJ still in my sites after 2 turns and a half mile under our belt.  All in all, we had 3 turns in the first mile, and many more to come.

Mile 1: 7:50

The beginning of the next mile greeted us with more inclines.  I hesitate to call them hills given what I ran this past weekend (and the climbs in the Knoxville Marathon).  My strategy had been to go out fast, and I had achieved that but was a bit worried when I started struggling in mile two.

I knew my pace was slipping, and even saw the Garmin in the 9s at one point.  I meant to run this race watchless, but I just couldn't part with it.  Of course promising not to look didn't last very long.

Mile 2: 8:41

At this point I got a little worried about my over all time.  I couldn't continue to slow down and still have a good result.  Thankfully the last mile had downhills (or declines) and I felt much better.  Still wheezing, still pushing, but I felt faster on this section.  I stopped looking at pace and started looking at time/distance.  I knew what I had to beat and I worked hard at it.  Good thing I didn't, or I would have been super discouraged.

Mile 3: 8:53

The last bit was flat, and I was able to give a bit of a kick.  One last right turn slowed me down a hair, as did the girl stopping me to get my timing chip just as the garmin was rolling over from 3.09 to 3.1

0.1: {8:03} pace

A new PR by over 40 seconds!  This race was hard, and the conditions sucked, but I rocked it! Definitely excited to see what will happen this summer when I shift gears from cold/dry air running to warm/humid running.  My asthma makes the changing of the seasons a struggle for me, but I showed that bitch who's boss today!  (Giving the assist to Dr. Miller for the lovely asthma medication.)

Then it was time to head inside Barley's for the pizza buffet and free beers promised with our race bib.  Instead of the crappy cheap beer usually found at races, we got our choice.  My first was Killian's red and my second was the lovely Irish Smithwick's - the beer I first consumed on Irish soil during a buddy's wedding.

I loved most every aspect of this race and hope it becomes a St. Paddy's tradition.

6/15 - age group
77/452 - over all

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Post Race Blues

I'm embarrassed to say that after a fabulous weekend, I've been having difficulty with my thankful journal this week.  An annoyance at work, a mouse on a sticky board, fatigue left over from the weekend - all are just blessings in disguise.  I have a good job (where annoyances are few), a house (2 for the moment) which I love, and a phenomenal weekend getaway to visit friends.
Only coming up with #s 619-646 seems to be too few, but here is a sample:
620) Cheesecake
623) 5 minute PR!
625) Dinner party in my honor
632) Allergy pills
636) Picking out hardware for the new kitchen
639) Prayer
644) Trophy wife dinner w/clients
645) St. Paddy's social run
What have you been thankful for this past week?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Famously Hot Columbia, SC {half} Marathon

When I chose the Columbia, SC “Famously Hot” half marathon, I wasn’t interested in the terrain, time of year, or even the promised bling. Instead, it was because a friend of mine lives nearby and the race would give me a good excuse to visit.

Having said that, I very much enjoyed the race.  In only its 2nd year, the event was well organized and left little to be desired.  My friends/pit crew for the weekend went to packet pick up with me and agreed to drive the course the day before the race.  We found rolling hills and a couple of decent climbs along the way.

Race morning we arrived early, got parked, and walked to the starting line with time to spare.  I was very thankful to have them along – they took pictures, provided moral support, and insured I didn’t get lost on the way to the race!

Prior to the race, I had made a note card with my goal splits.  I wanted to achieve my first ever sub 2 hour half, and needed to hit my paces in order to do so.  I tend to ignore the “don’t go out too fast” advice, because that’s never been a problem for me.  Typically I start slow then do too good of a job keeping the pace. 

I decided instead of obsessing about splits, I would just stick with the 9:10 pace crew.  I met them before the race and they seemed like a lot of fun.  Instead of looking at my watch the first 2 miles, I stayed in step with them.

Mile 1 - 8:57
(goal - 9:10)

Mile 2 - 9:04
(goal - 9:20)

First hill came along in mile 2 and reminded me of Cherokee Blvd. Decent climb, but nothing intimidating.   (Reviewing the course elevation map, it appears to be no tougher than the hill at the end.  Except the hill at the end is…well…at the end.)

Steep hills don’t seem to be a strength of mine, and I struggled to keep up with the pacers.  By the top, I had lost them and wasn’t able to catch up.  Those first couple miles were well below goal pace. 

Mile 3 - 8:49
(goal – 9:00)
Mile 4 - 9:14
(goal – 8:50)
Mile 5 - 8:54
(goal – 8:50)
Mile 6 - 9:06

(goal – 9:00)

These miles were flat to rolling and I tried to maximize the down hills when possible. Pace reflects the terrain.   While I missed goal pace for each of these miles, the average had me on track for a sub 2 finish.

Mile 7: 9:16
(goal – 9:00)
Mile 8: 9:13
(goal – 9:10)

I was starting to slow down and starting to realize how much work the finish of this race would be.  I had turn into a serious, stuff runner.  I just wasn’t enjoying myself.  (Probably didn’t help that I realized I was starting to get too far off pace.)

Mile 9: 9:48
(goal – 9:20)

At this point I hit the wall AND simultaneously started the long gradual climb. In the ride the day before I hadn't noticed it as much but at this point in the race it really took a toll.  I had saved my music for when I needed it, but probably didn’t start it soon enough.  It helped me pick up the pace a big (the paces I saw along this mile were slower, so the music helped me pull it up.)

Mile 10: 10:05
(goal – 8:50)

I started my shot bloks taking 2 at mile 4, then tried to hit them every 2.  I missed them by 5 minutes or so here and there.   At this point I took my last blok, wondering where I had lost the blok for mile 12 along the way.

I trotted through the water stops but when I saw another ahead, I told myself I'd stop and hydrate because I was struggling. Turns out it was a beer stop. I knew I was slowing and didn't have the mental umph I needed to finish the race and hit my goal. Also, not one to turn down a free beer, I stopped and drank my 4 oz portion before going on my way.

Mile 11: 9:17
(goal - 9:10)

See – the beer helped!

Mile 12: 10:16
(goal – 8:50)

Saw Holly & Todd once last time (they had been at 2 previous intersections) to cheer me on. I stopped to hit my inhaler (I'd made the call at race start to forego it up to that point), then headed up the last climb. This one was a 2 part dozy and involved some walking. I promised myself if I just made it to the top I'd be able to pour it on for a strong finish.

Mile 13: 9:33
(goal – 9:00)

At this point I knew something major would have to happen to keep me from getting a PR, so I kept pushing to not leave anything on the course.  I chicked a really tall dude who had passed me earlier in the race.  He’d made the hills look easy, and I had commented as such.  This time as I passed I said “come on now! this is the easy part.”  He grunted something in reply. 

We turned down main street to a slight downhill finish.  I picked it up a notch in an effort to finish strong.

0.15 mile: 0:51{8:36}
(goal – 0:54, 9 m/m pace)

Official chip time: 2:02:19

I finished 20/71 in my age group and 118/418 overall among females.  I remember the day when I longed to be a mid-packer.  I’ve blown right by that goal and finished this race in the top 3rd of both categories!

However, I am slightly disappointed I didn’t reach my goal of a sub 2 hour time.  I know I did the best I could do on this “B” race, and PRed by 5 minutes!  I also learned a lot, and will change up some things come Knoxville.  After all, isn’t that the point of a “B” Race, to gather knowledge for my “A” race?



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Daily Thanks - Race Day Countdown!

This week spans thankful #s 589-618

589) Charitable family
598) Jay cooking dinner
599) Gun metal nail polish
601) God taking away my anxiety (Sunday morning)
607) Brownie batter-filled donuts
611) God providing
612) My tweet quoted on the US Senate floor (during Rand Paul's filibuster)
615) Granite selection
617) Opportunity to visit friends

What have you been thankful for this week?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Training Tuesday {Half Marathon Countdown}

planned - total body weights class
actual - 4 X 800/3.75 miles with warm up & cool down

Moved this from Monday to give our legs a chance to rest from Sunday's 12 mile run.  Splits for this day's intervals were Lap 1 - 8:24, Lap 2 - 8:27, Lap 3 - 8:13, Lap 4 - 8:06

planned - Tabata/Social Run
actual - Tabata/Social Run

planned - total body weights class
actual - total body weights class

This training cycle we're fairly consistent with 1 day a week strength.  That's better than nothing I suppose.

planned - rest
actual - rest

planned - 14 mile long run
actual - 12 mile long run

Some GI issues made for a less-than-stellar run.  Average pace was a 10:28, which included what felt like a lot of slow walking to try and make it back to the bathroom.  This was a crappy run LITERALLY.  Hey - (sh) it happens.

planned - rest
actual - rest

planned - 2 X 1600
actual - 3.5 mile progression run

I decided against speed work this week in a lame attempt to taper for this weekend's big race.  We decided to make this an easy run, but as we warmed up and got lost in our chatter the pace got faster and faster. 
Splits: 9:30, 9:14, 8:56, 8:11

I'm already nervous for this weekend's half marathon.  Do I shoot for a sub 2 hour?  If I'm honest, that's my goal, I'm just not sure how realistic it is this time.  What if I try for it and am disappointed?  Then again if I don't push toward what I truly want, how will I ever reach it?