Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Running on vacation, nutrias, and broken treadmills

This last weekend I visited my sister in California. It was a wonderful time of talking, eating, talking, drinking wine, talking, playing with my nephews, talking, and taking a run.
This is what we were wearing when she picked me up....are we related or something?
 When my sister asked if there was anything I wanted to do while I was there...lamely, I said run. I felt bad taking time away from our short weekend together to head out for my seven miler. But she was so hospitable, planned my route, encouraged me to get out there, and let me debrief when I got back. I had asked for a hilly route...and that is exactly what I got.
Hill one. It turns the corner and keeps on going. Bring on the pain.
My legs were trembling when I took this picture.
I wish I had brought California sunshine back with me...instead I have been running in the rain this week. Maggie, my runner pal, and I hit up Nike to run on the World Campus. It is a triple layered bark chip 2.5 mile loop. A perfect recovery run, minus the nutrias. What's a nutria you ask?

oh hello rat/beaver mix...
We ran screaming, holding hands. We only stopped to allow one brave nutria to skitter across our path. Maggie said we'd get rabies if they bit us. I believe her, she's a nurse.

But even despite the rain and nutria it is still better than the gym. We pay a monthly fee to patron 24 Hour Fitness when the mood strikes. Last week, I was forced to do my speed work there. And this is what I found.
Row after row of broken machines

Where exactly does my money go? Of the twenty or so treadmills, about four were working. Lame.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Mile at a Time

So the other day I had to do my long run of 5 miles. Now 5 miles may seem like nothing to a lot of you, but for me, right now, I knew five was going to be a challenge. Since my half marathon in October, my runs have averaged about 3 miles. But since I am now training for a half, it's time to start picking it up. All that to say, Saturday was my "long run" day and you can imagine my surprise and disappointment when I woke up to the ground covered in snow Saturday morning. I don't have yak traks, so the snow is kind of a deal breaker when it comes to running outside. Luckily, I do have a treadmill in my house but running more than three miles on a treadmill (at least for me) kind of sucks! Needless to say, I was not looking forward to this run, but it had to be done so I laced up and hit the mill!

Instead of dreading the miles that lay ahead, I decided I would just take it one mile at a time. I set myself mini milestone to reach and then set new ones throughout the run. I even managed to get in a little speed workout here and there as I would make myself run at an 8 for half a mile, then back down to a 6 for a mile, and so on. Also, I gave myself permission to turn the speed down if I felt I needed a short rest. One mile at a time. It's good to keep it fresh while running on a treadmill. Before I knew it, I was more than halfway done and that 5 miles I was nervous about was within reach. After the run, I was surprised I didn't feel as wiped out as I had anticipated.

I think this run gave me the confidence I needed to continue on with my half marathon training. I felt there was a hurdle to overcome and I wasn't quite sure what that was, but now I feel like if I can run five, then I can certainly run 6 and if I can run six...I will be working my way up to 13 in no time! Or at least in enough time to feel trained and ready for the Rock n Roll Half in May. Only 81 days to go!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Week 4 Training

Week Four for Jess: a recovery that it is built in to my training schedule!
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 3 miles easy 
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 3 miles easy
Friday: rest    
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 4 miles easy
total: 10 miles

Week Three for Jess
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 mile easy   DONE(2.3 with Mags)
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 5 mile tempo (warm;3 miles @ 10:07;cool)DONE (4 miles total, 2 @9:30)
Friday: rest    
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 7 miles long run DONE (hills!!!!)
total: 13 miles

Reflection on Week Three:
I felt really tired after my race. My legs just didn't feel fast. Tuesday's run was in the pouring rain with Maggie. Thursday was on a treadmill at the gym. The gym was such a disappointment, more on that later though. Sunday's run was fabulous. My sister planned it all out and made sure there were lots of big hills as per my request. Ouch! I am feeling that today! Feeling more and more ready for that hilly Shamrock and feeling really good about the amount of miles I am putting in with still over two months to go until the half! This week I am hoping to slow down and take care of my body so that next week I can hit it hard!

Week 4 for Katie:
Okay, let's talk runs again. I want to run 3.5, 4, 5.5 and an easy 2 somewhere in there. I will throw in my strength routine I talk about below and an added bonus would be a workout video but I am not going to stress over it. The ground is currently covered in snow so that does not bode well for running, but I will make it happen one way or another.

Reflection on last week:
"I am going to keep it a bit simple and just lay out my running goals for the week, but I do plan to do a couple extras, too (ie workout video and some strength/abs). I plan to run a 3, a 3.5 and a 5 mile this week. I feel like 5 is pushing it for where I am at currently but I also feel like I need the challenge! As an added bonus, I would like to challenge myself to run 4 times this week, not just 3. Stay tuned! "

I am happy to say that I did my 5 mile run this past week! Pretty proud of myself. I realized after the fact that 5 is the longest distance I have run since my last half marathon in October. Wow. My other runs were two 3s and I am bummed to say I didn't meet my challenge to run four times after all. But I did some great strength training based in this routine (I did both A & B) and hope to incorporate that more as I was totally sore the next day! One of my 3 milers I enjoyed outside while pushing my daughter in the stroller, I love that she loves to run with me. Due to the snow, I had to run my 5-miler on the treadmill which was not ideal but I was just happy to get it done. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feb race recap

Okay, I don't have the heart to write this again. I wrote a big, long, recap and then I accidentally deleted it. I had to take a whole day to recover...maybe I take my blog posts too seriously?

Anyways, on Sunday I ran my February race. It was a huge PR for me. I did some research about how to run this race strategically, hoping to PR (I deleted the link to those articles when I deleted my post, I will try and see if I can retrace my history to share them because they were really great tools). 

When I woke up Sunday morning I felt sick. My girls have had a chest cold for the last two weeks and it looked as if I was next on the list. My husband gave me a great pep talk and convinced me to go out there and run the race like I had planned. 

It was a great start time (8:40am) and a flat course. My goal was to run the first two miles in a 9:45 pace, the middle two miles at a 9:55 pace, and the last two at 9:40 pace. This went along with some of the tips that were given in the articles I read. 

I made sure I had my Garmin on the correct setting and took off. I checked my pace at mile one and I was at 9:40 but I felt great so I stayed there. The middle two miles I started to feel emotional. I am not sure what it is about running, but I think because I all my energy is going to physical use, I am completely disarmed and can be brought to tears instantly. I don't mean that I am crying because the running is tough, I just get choked up at the thought of running, how happy and lucky I am to run, and maybe even a little proud. Does that happen to you?

Well, anyway, I was a bit misty eyed for the middle portion of the run. I felt good, I was running strong, and I knew I was going to PR in a big way. 

Justin had the girls and made his way around the course, cheering me on at two different spots. Nothing adds a kick like seeing your three year old clapping, waving, jumping and hollering for every runner that passes by. 

The last two miles I sped up. I wanted to cross the finish line tired, knowing I had run this race with all that I had. I started zeroing in on the runners ahead of me. I would pull up beside them, catch my breath a minute and then move onto the next one. I was at a 9:22 pace. I caught up to a gal with knee high socks that read bacon. I gasped out a laugh and turned the corner to cross the blue mats. My Garmin read that I had ran 6.23 miles with my average pace at 9:35. However, my official time according to the chip was 6.2 miles (obviously, it was a 10k) and 9:40 pace...hmmm, has that ever happened to you? Which do you think is more accurate?

Shamrock're next!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Post-Run Routine

What is your post-run routine? I often find myself wondering this about other people. My post-run routine usually goes a little something like this:

  • Walk in the door, sweating and breathing heavily from my run.
  • My daughter runs over as if it's been weeks since she ast saw me and acknowledges the fact that "mama running" (very cute)
  • I then proceed with stretching while keeping an eye on the clock and calculating how much "me" time I have already used up. 
  • My daughter tries to stretch with me or on me or right in the space I need. 
  • I emphasize stretching my hamstring (my trouble area).
  • My stretching is over far too soon and I am upstairs in the shower.
  • Back downstairs I come, with wet hair, to resume mommy duty.
That routine probably lasts a total of 20 minutes (including shower). It is not my ideal routine, I would love to stretch at my leisure, move onto some abs, back to stretching out my entire body then take a nice, hot shower followed by actually applying some makeup and getting dressed in something other than sweat pants. But such is the life of a Mother Runner. I am just thrilled I was able to get out and run and stay on track with my weekly goals. 

Runners - 
What is your post-run routine? And what is your ideal post-run routine? 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 3 Training

Week Three for Jess
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 mile easy 
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 5 mile tempo (warm;3 miles @ 10:07;cool)
Friday: rest    
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 7 miles long run
total: 14 miles

Week Two for Jess
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2 mile easy  Done!
Wednesday: rest  
Thursday: 5 mile speed work (warm;2x1600 in 9:22w/800jogs;cool) Done!
Friday: rest    
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 6 miles long run(10K recap coming soon!)Done!
total: 13 miles 

Reflection on last week's running:
This last week went great. I have loved doing the speed work, this has been the first time that I have incorporated it consistantly and I can already see the difference. As I mentioned before, I chose to use the Runners World training program but I am still incorporating racing into a few of my long runs through out the next few months. I know I need to do some cross training but I am struggling to find the time.

Week Two for Katie:
I am going to keep it a bit simple and just lay out my running goals for the week, but I do plan to do a couple extras, too (ie workout video and some strength/abs). I plan to run a 3, a 3.5 and a 5 mile this week. I feel like 5 is pushing it for where I am at currently but I also feel like I need the challenge! As an added bonus, I would like to challenge myself to run 4 times this week, not just 3. Stay tuned! 

Reflection on last weeks training: 
"Week two is going to look pretty similar to week 1, actually.  I plan to run 3 miles once, 3.5 miles once and 4.5 miles once.  I get in my 45 mins of stretch/strength/abs during Biggest Loser on Tuesday and my Jillian video. Just picking up a little distance this week, slowly but surely. I really want to try and get to a local track in the next couple weeks to do a speed workout, I haven't done many of these! So we'll see (Jess-I need tips!)."

Okay, this week was a bit unexpected in a lot of ways. To start, I completely failed on my training goals, but I had to conclude that sometimes things happen and you're not always going to be able to meet your goals as expected. That was my week. For those who don't know, I am a birth doula, a wonderful, rewarding and challenging job. This week, I just so happened to have two mamas go into labor back-to-back. I was at a birth Tuesday night throughWednesday afternoon and again Thursday evening through very early Friday morning. Needless to say, I was exhausted and unable to get in my workouts as hoped. Not that I am complaining, I am wouldn't change it for the world! I didn't manage to get in my "long" run of 4.5 miles but I was able to get in the two other runs which I am happy about given the circumstances. I do, however, expect this week to be a lot better. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll

We are officially registered for the Rock 'N' Roll Half!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Watch our countdown in the sidebar as our training continues and we work towards a PR!