Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Training Tuesday - Summer Solstice 8K Week 2

planned - tempo run
actual - 3.25 miles
I didn't quite hit my tempo portions but got close.

planned - weights
actual - weights, 2 mi run

planned - rest
actual - rest

planned - rest
actual - rest
Kelly & I worked a Sporting Clays fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis research all day Friday and Saturday

planned - 8-10 mile run
actual - rest
Between the monsoon and exhaustion from the previous 2 days had me doing a whole lotta nothing.

planned - weights
actual - weights, 20 minute walk, 8 mile run

I wanted to get 1 last long(ish) run in before the half this weekend.  Weights only took 20 minutes of my lunch, so I finished up with a 20 minute walk.  After work, I headed outside for an 8 miler.  It was hot and slow going, but definitely got me excited for my race!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Five Things

Piggy backing off a post Jaime did last week, I give you the 5 things blog.

...you'll find in my bag:
1. 1,000 gifts thankful journal
2. hand sanitizer
3. ibuprofen (a runner's best friend)
4. sunglasses
5. the newest book i've received to review

...you'll find in my bedroom:
1. my plush football (I snuggle when I sleep)
2. slippers - even in the spring my toesies get cold
3. tiny Care Bear given to me by my niece
4. empty can of Natty Ice (belonging to the Mr. of the house)
5. race bibs (in the sock drawer, waiting to be made into a scrapbook)

...I'm currently loving.
1. the rap/country hybrid trend
2. words with friends (hello 2010)
3. registering for new races
4. the new cabin as a retreat
5. my new race medal display

...quirks I have.
1. i set my alarm clock on a reflexive number (like 6:26)
2. needing the "off" position of a light switch to be down
(this is a problem given the multiple switches per each light at the cabin)
3. ending my runs on a standard unit of measure
4. jay and i counting in spanish as we lock the exterior doors
5. using excel spreadsheets to plan vacations down to the half hour
i was so detailed with my NYC planning, Jay wasn't sure how he would work in a marriage proposal!

...you'd know if we had met in real life.
1. i love my niece and nephew to pieces
2. i have selective OCD
3. i'm (selectively) a procrastinator
4. i rarely give myself the credit i deserve
5. i'm not a huge animal fan

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Overflow of a Thankful Heart

I've been busy working on my thankful list this past week! I've breezed through numbers 887-962!!!  Some have been trivial, others life-altering, but all things that have made me appreciate the blessings in my life.
889) Food ministry fiesta benefit (w/mom, dad, and jay) at the aquarium
891) Brave enough to try & enjoy the penguin tunnel (I'm claustrophobic)
899) Talking running/racing with clients at trophy wife dinner
909) Sleeping in!
912) Voice of the Martyrs app on my phone - believers willing to risk safety/life to follow Jesus
923) A generous spirit
938) Showing (x2) on the house
941) Hand-me-downs from a coworker of my sister's
950) Parking my car in a garage for the first time in years
953) Jay letting me warm my cold feet on his warm legs
960) Jay fixing the headlight on my car
These are just a sampling of what I've been thankful for this past week. 
 How has God blessed you this week?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Workout Wednesday - AKA Training Tuesday (a day late)

Things are a bit crazy

Life is a bit frantic

I'm having a very ADD week, despite most everything being normal.  Well, normal for living in two houses. 

Yes, we're moving.  No, we don't know when yet.  Yes, we have somethings at the new house.  No, the pool isn't open for the summer.  Yes, we have a bed and furniture at each place.  No, this list will not go on forever.  Yes, I'm stopping it now.  No really. 

Trying to pin down just what I'm currently training for has been a bit like nailing jello to the wall.  At first, I was going to focus on 5Ks and trying to establish a PR after doing a real training plan for the distance.  However after missing a sub 2 hour half marathon by seconds in Knoxville, the Capital City Half became my focus.  My mid-week runs haven't really changed, but I've gone from planning on 90 minute "long" runs, to actually double digit mileage planned out.

Also, the half is the same weekend of the SMARM 5K (my first ever race, and the one I try to repeat every year).  The following week is my nieces birthday AND first communion, so I'll not be around for the flattest 5K this area has to offer.  The 3rd week's 5K was cancelled, leaving us searching for another race.  Turns out, we're just not going to 5K training right now.

Instead, my (our - Kelly & I created our own plan, speed work is different paces but the work itself is the same) goal is now the 8K distance.  My half marathon pace beat my 8K PR - given how speedy I've become in the recent past, so I'm really not sure what my goal is.  We're racing the 8K distance 2 different times this summer, with the goal of setting a marker the first time out and working to improve it by the second race.

Without further adieu babbling, I give you my Summer Solstice 8K training plan week 0 & 1 review.

planned - rest
actual - 35 minute walk/1.8 miles

Stroll around the municipal complex, killing time waiting to meet up with my family after church.

planned - 30 minute tempo run
actual - 30 minute walk

Slept at the cabin Sunday night, so I had to pack my bag Saturday night.  Forgot a sports bra, so I couldn't complete this workout. 

planned - weights
actual - weights

planned - intervals
actual - intervals

9 X 200s - need to work on turnover.  Didn't hit paces despite having plenty energy/breath, just couldn't get my feet to move at a sub 7 m/m pace.

planned - weights
actual -  weights

Started StrongLifts 5X5 plan A

planned - rest
actual - rest

planned - 12-14 mile run
actual - 11 mile run

This was miserable.  I took lots of walk breaks and couldn't wait to be done.

planned - rest
actual - rest

planned - intervals
actual - 3.1 mile walk + intervals

6 X 400s done at the track after work.  Once again didn't make paces.  Issue with heat acclimatization?

planned - weights
actual -  weights

StrongLifts 5X5 plan B

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time to Give Thanks

The fear this week has brought has made intentionally stopping to give thanks even more important.  At times, I had to dig deep.  Others popped in my mind without prompting.  On such a hard week, I'm thankful (maybe I should add it to my list :P) to be able to write down 833-886, acknowledging the goodness of the Lord despite the heaviness of the week.

834) Cooling rain
837) Mamaw Pace & the 10th anniversary of her death
839) A new way to display race medals
840) First night at the new place*
844) Means to give
845) Heart for those in need
851) Walk with Jay to our new picnic/make-out spot**
858) Jay doing dishes
863) Fun at work
864) I'm too slow to BQ (this year)
873) Jay & Daddy putting out a garden together
878) Candlelit prayer service
880) Richie & family safe
883) Opportunity to grow in knowledge

*No, we haven't moved officially, but we have enough there to spend the night when its a more convenient location
**Depending on who you ask

What are some things for which you have been thankful this past week?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

5 Seconds

{the bombing} makes me feel scared and powerless
The above comment on a friend’s Facebook page earned me a lecture from my husband.

Fear is what they want you to feel.  You can’t be scared, if you are, they win.
While he’s right, I just can’t accept what he’s saying and move on.  Sometimes, despite myself, I am overwhelmed with fear. 

Today I make the choice – to allow the fear in, but only for 5 seconds.
Earlier in the day, my BIL had called me with his buddy’s bib number so I could track his progress.  He’d already finished, but did his family linger at the finish line?
My irrational fear of close quarters, of being in starting line corral and not being able to move should something happen?  That fear now seems justified.


What does this mean for future races?  Will this happen again?
What if this would have happened at Knoxville instead – where my husband, my cousin, his 2 year old son, and a friend were waiting at the finish line


Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.
Psalm 62:5 HCSB

Monday, April 15, 2013

Running for Regen 5K Race Report

The weekend to follow racing the Covenant Health Knoxville {half} Marathon, I had planned on taking it easy.  Sleep in, maybe log a few miles in the early afternoon.  My head hadn't hit my pillow the evening of the race, before I had already registered for another!

My previous 5K PR (from last month) was set on a warm afternoon when I hadn't (still haven't) had a chance to acclimate to the heat.  I did a piss-poor job of pacing myself, yet I was still able to pull out a 40 second PR.  When I signed up for the Running for Regen 5K, I was confident another PR was in my near future.  The race was held in the cool spring morning temperatures and promised a "flat" course.

What initially attracted my attention to the race was the fact that a few friends of mine from high school were running it.  Not to mention the proceeds benefit St. Jude's.  Regen is a local kid who has been battling cancer for several months.  He got to come home Friday night (to the streets lined with people "rooting" him on), we raced Saturday morning.

Jay and I spent our first evening at the new cabin (blog to follow), so I was only 15 minutes from the starting line.  I forgot to pack a coffee pot, so I grabbed a Starbucks on the way.  (Unfortunately, this location is in a Kroger grocery store, so no drive through for future stops on the way to work.)  I had planned plenty of time in advance, so I arrived at the start line an hour early. 

After getting my packet (and saying hello to former classmate Blaik), Kim, Nicole, and I (also fellow class of '98ers) sat around catching up, chatting about this and that.  15 minutes before start, I hit the bathroom, put away my good bag, and headed to the start line.  I hadn't had a chance to warm up well, but since this race was about more than running, I didn't mind.

I positioned myself near the front and waited for the gun.  As promised, the first mile was flat.  I felt strong, but I tried to hold back a bit because I didn't want to go out too quickly and crash like I had at my last race.  I felt stronger, but turns out the mile was a similar speed to Barley's. 

Mile 1 - 7:51

When I read about the flat course, I assumed we would be running in downtown Pigeon Forge on the Parkway.  Turns out, we started on Dollywood Lane and ran towards Veterans Blvd.  I've done many-a-long run on Veterans, and know its NOT flat.  The bulk of the hills are in the middle portion closer to Sevierville.  As I said on Daily Mile, compared to last weekend, I hesitate to call these hills, but I definitely felt the elevation change.

Mile 2 - 8:08

Around the start of the last mile, I noticed my shoe had come untied.  Not sure why I hadn't double knotted them, but I was in the front pack and wasn't about to stop to tie my laces.   I suspected the lady in front of me was in my age group, but didn't think I had enough kick left in me to try to catch her - all the while praying I didn't fall flat on my face thanks to my untied laces.

Mile 3 - 8:30

I tried for a kick at the very end, turning off Dollywood Lane, into the Riverstone parking lot.

Final 0.1 - {8:10}

My official finishing time was 25:50 - a 20 second PR from last month!  Over a minute shaved off my time from May of last year.  My time was good enough for a 3rd place a/g win.  Given the small field (115 people) they split the groups up in decades.

Age group (30-39): 3/33
Over all: 14/115

Also? Got to run it in with the girls from high school.  Class of 1998 rox!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Counting My Gifts

I missed last week, but I have still been making my way
towards having 1,000 recorded in my journal. 
 Last time I blogged, I was up to 732. 
Since then, I've broke into the 800s, writing 833 earlier today. 
That's over 100 blessings in a 2 week time period. 
 Not bad for one of those being a week I was feeling "down."
732) Sunny day walk
743) Easter Sunday - He arose
753) April Fools laughter
761) Hard earned (race) finisher medals
775) GI Joe "I'm gonna get you outta here!"
If you're gonna be cheesy you gotta be tough!
784) Serving at the race Expo - helping those new to racing
793) Clever race signs
807) Exciting prospects
816) The ability to be friendly to someone soliciting over the phone
823) Strength to resist chocolate temptation
831) Friendly competition
What have you been thankful for this past week?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Toot Toot!

Every Tuesday, the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans encourages readers to toot their own horn.  Most of my life, I've had a problem with self confidence.  As I've matured, I've still found it difficult to find the line between modesty and putting myself down as well as encouraging myself versus being boastful.

I'm proud of my accomplishment this past Sunday.  I've put in a lot of hard work (both physically and mentally) to race a difficult half marathon over 44 minutes faster than my first half back in 2009.   Proud to once again update my personal records page.

BUT in the back of my head, I'm still tacking qualifiers at the end of my accomplishments.  It was a fast pace for me

A friend emailed this to me earlier this afternoon.  My time helped my team's 4th place finish in the female division.  4th, out of 27 teams.  Pretty neat huh?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Covenant Health Knoxville {half} Marathon 2013 race report

In the past 4 months of training for the Covenant Health Knoxville {half} Marathon, I’ve considered plenty of different race strategies. Ranging from “just have fun” to a detailed race plan completed with mile-by-mile splits.  I finally settled on the lowest maintenance way of shooting for a sub 2 hour half marathon I knew of – setting my Garmin on over all time and trying not to obsess.

Jay tagged along with us to the race and was there to cheer me on at the start.  It was nice having him to tote around my jacket and extra stuff I shed before the race, but somewhere in the mix I accidentally gave him my inhaler.  Since it makes me jittery, I had held off taking it.  By the time I remembered, he was lost in the crowd.  I prayed a quick prayer putting my lungs in God’s hands and tried to not worry about it.

high school buddies I ran into at the start line
Unlike our last half marathon, Kelly & I lined up in our corral together.  We each had our own race plan, but stuck together for as long as it made sense. Either we guessed our finishing time wrong (likely, given our November registration) or else people didn’t stick to their corrals.  (Also likely – less than a quarter mile into the race we passed a power walker.) The first mile or two, we stuck together best we could as we fought our way through the crowd. 

Mile 1 - 9:09

This mile definitely would have been faster if not for the crowd.  We saw one of our fitness instructors as well as a girl who works out at our gym regularly.  One of the most fun parts about this race is seeing people I know all along the course!

Mile 2 - 8:07

This is one of the best flat/downhill sections of the course, so Kelly and I really picked it up in an attempt to bank some speedy miles to compensate for the hills that would slow us down later.  We passed quite a few people in this mile, but I was surprised when Daily Mile Joe passed us...turns out he’d be placed in a slow corral due to his late registration.

Mile 3 - 8:44

Another flat mile, we decided to settle in to a fast/comfortable pace.


Mile 4 - 9:26

A buddy of mine from high school caught up with us, and I chatted with him a bit as Kelly went ahead up the hill going from Neyland onto Kingston Pike.  I wasn’t too concerned with my pace because this is one of the gradual but constant hill sections I’d accounted for in my race planning.

 Mile 5 - 9:03

Entering Sequoia Hills, I felt great.  Sure there are some climbs, but the downhills definitely make up for the work on the ups.  Plus there were some cute signs along the way to distract me.  “Naked cheerleaders in ½ mile” followed by “Naked cheerleaders in ¼ mile” followed by “Naked cheerleaders on break” with bras in the trees.

Mile 6 - 8:41

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel on these hills, and while the 9:10 m/m pacer started to leave my line-of-sight, I felt good about the solid paces I was hitting.

Mile 7 - 9:11
Mile 8 - 9:48

Noelton was in this mile.  Its the steepest part of the course, but only covers about a half mile.  Pre-race I had decided to allow myself walk breaks if my pace slowed enough.  I’d rather brisk walk up than drain my legs with a slow jog.  A run/walk on each of the 2 sections kept me averaging a 9 m/m pace, so I was happy with my effort.  The slight (but longish) downhill for the remainder of the mile helped bring my pace up.

Mile 9 - 8:49Mile 10 - 9:15Mile 11 - 9:09

This was the green way section of the race.  In hindsight, I probably should have pushed a bit more on this part because its a nice rolling section.  However I was getting tired (not sure if it was mental or just had used a lot of energy by this point) and was still holding an overall 9 m/m pace.

Mile 12 - 10:03

I really started to slow when I turned off of the green way and onto the strip.  Unlike Noelton, the hills in the Fort Sanders/Children's Hospital area are relentless.  Hill, turn.  Hill turn, Hill turn.  I walked a bit here as well, but while Noelton probably helped my overall time, I feel like I should have slogged on this section.  It was too long to allow for walking and still holding a decent pace. 

Mile 13 - 9:03

My average pace had slowed, so I really tried to pick it up this mile.  It starts flattish with a steep downhill which I felt like I flew down.  Its actually quite painful to go quickly down a hill after having ran 12 hard miles.

Going into the stadium is an uphill and I was struggling to push.  I heard a siren and got worried someone was injured/ill in the stadium.  Sure enough it was coming my direction, so I slowed a bit and got to the right of the road so the emergency personnel could pass. 

Only it was a cop on a motorcycle.

Is the Kenyan about to pass me to win the full marathon??

Only it was a hand cyclist.
Not a Kenyan, but those dudes are impressive in their own right.

Final 0.2 kick - 8:59

Heading into the stadium I felt like I picked it up a notch, but I was exhausted.  Unfortunately, my average pace included an extra 0.1 (probably from all the passing I did early in the race).  While a 9:09 m/m average pace is good enough for a sub 2 hour marathon...its not when you add in the extra.

Official Chip Time: 2:00:22


A 2 minute PR is hard to be upset with, but that measly 23 seconds hit me below the belt.  In my mind I’ve thought about a million different things I could have done differently to make up the difference.  Bottom line is I far exceeded my original goal of a beating last year’s 2:07 PR, and I even bested last month’s race by 2 minutes (on a harder course). 

Age group – 48/217
Female – 231/1344
Overall – 680/2433


Friday, April 5, 2013

CHKM - The Build Up

I've been quiet all week.  We got some disappointing news regarding the sale of our house and I've been in a slump ever since. 

I've already begun compiling my list of half marathon regrets, in anticipation of a failure that hasn't happened yet.  Using the word "slump" for my mental state is putting it mildly I suppose.  There is so much good in my life right now and I can't see past this anxiety about the uncertain future to enjoy right now.

From the get go, I knew I wouldn't be able to achieve what I truly wanted this race.  During my first 26.2 at Disney, I passed a father/daughter duo running the marathon together.  I chatted with them a bit, and he mentioned how she had to slow down for him.  I told them both to enjoy the gift and know that slow or not, many of us would never have the same privilege. 

This year, Knoxville is offering a 2 person relay - complete with family teams.  Father/daughter, mother/son, siblings...I desperately wanted to participate in this relay, but have no family to run with.  Both of my parents are fresh off of surgery - Daddy is just now rid of his cane, Mother is not back to her usual 30 minute walk for exercise.  Jay gets bored after a half mile of running.

Before you say it, I KNOW I'm blessed to have them in my life at all.  I KNOW I'm being a greedy bitch wanting more.  Knowing those things, however, doesn't stop me from wanting it.  From being heart broken not to have it. 

Looking through the pre-race information I came across this team entry.  I'm jealous of Julie, despite having never met her.  Whoever she and Jack are, I hope they realize how awesome it is to be able to race together.

Another let down?  Doing too well at my previous race.

Before you roll your eyes (too late? okay then just keep reading and I'll forgive you), hear me out.  I didn't realize it until a week or so ago, but I've always PRed at the half marathon distance.  There has always been months and different training plans separating the races, do I've PRed by default:
Oak Ridge 2009 - 2:44
Secret City 2010 - 2:26
Kingsport Haunted Half 2011 - 2:22
Mountain Man Memorial March 2012: 2:30*
Kingsport Haunted Half 2012 - 2:07
Columbia Famously Hot Half 2013 - 2:02
*This race is primarily a military rucking event. 
During the event, a ROTC Cadet collapsed on the course (dying later at the hospital). 
Since the roads are open on the course,
 the course was impassible while emergency personnel responded. 
 For obvious reasons, I don't count this result,  despite being my strongest half at the time.

I had no set goals for the Columbia half, save doing my best.  I wanted to push hard and leave it all out there.  Earlier in the year I set the sub 2 hour half goal for myself, and I wanted to push as close as possible, but I didn't actually expect to.  The goal for Columbia was to see just how close I was.

Turns out, I'm so close, at mile 9 of the race I could still taste it until it started slowly slipping away.  I was disappointed, but even still a 5 minute PR from last fall was nothing to be disappointed in.  What does that leave me with?  Knoxville is a harder course than Columbia - I have very little confidence in my ability to PR after only a month of extra training.  Even less that I could sub 2.

So what am I working toward? To do my best for sure, but I'm such a numbers OCD freak I like having a set time goal to work toward.  Initially I just wanted to run Knoxville as fast as Kingsport.  Now I think I would be disappointed with that result.

Another issue with Knoxville (and this time of year) is the weather.  Last year the sun/humidity zapped me.  All my training runs had been in the cold, only for race day to be a good 20-30 degrees warmer.  This year the difference won't be as noticeable (for me, given that I'll be done in 2ish hours rather than 5), but it'll still factor in.

When did I become the girl who thinks 50 is too warm?  I suppose since I only stepped foot on the treadmill once in 4 months of training for this race.  I'm skeerd!!

I guess the bottom line is that I've got the post race blues - 4 months of build up...for what?

How do you set goals?  How do you keep from beating yourself up if you are unable to reach them?

I think I need a good cry.  What's a good movie I should watch tonight to help me out?