Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Early "Taper" Week

Yeah, that's what I was doing last week...tapering for this weekend's half marathon...just a little early...I wanted to get a head start.

Ok, ok. But I was traveling for a conference and had some trouble getting in miles. I was outside Phoenix where it was in the 90s (my body is definitely not ready for that yet) and the fitness center cost $20 per day!! Does that include my own personal trainer? Do they have solid platinum treadmills? WTH? So, I got in a couple very short runs but that is it.

I have no excuse why I did absolutely no running over the weekend though.

This week, I really don't want to overdo it. I know my body likes a bit of a rest before a race and I have a half marathon on Sunday (my first of the year and second ever). Oh yeah, it will also be my first 13 mile run of the year, and my second double digit run of the year. Yeah, I was hoping to be a little more prepared for this race, but it is a little late to do anything about that now.

I finished my other half with an 11:17 pace (2:27:40) and struggled quite a bit through the last couple miles. Ultimately for the year I would like to finish a HM in 2:20 (10:41 pace). I think for this race I will shoot for an 11:00 pace which would put me somewhere under the 2:25 mark. That is about where I have been running my long runs, so it should be doable. Then, next week I get to start getting more structured with my running and start somewhat of a training plan for the marathon. I think I am starting with a Pfitz 55 mpw plan (which I will try really hard to stick to). I am starting it a couple weeks early, but I figure that way I can have a couple bad weeks here and there and not really get behind in the training.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Update

After registering for the Marathon on Friday I was feeling all motivated and confident and was planning a 13 mile long run for the weekend. I really wanted to get in the 13 miler since I am only 2 weeks out from a half marathon, my longest run so far this year has been 10 miles, I was hoping to be more prepared than I was for my half last October, and I don't want to run too long the weekend before (I know that my body likes to be good & rested before a race).

Saturday was to be beautiful weather - in the 70's with a little sun and little wind. Sunday was suppose to be rainy with highs in the 40's. Can you guess which day I planned for my long run?

Saturday came along and I had a good few hours while I was waiting for my cat at the groomers (yes, I get my cat groomed). I got dressed, grabbed my water bottle, headphones, visor, and phone (for the groomer call), and cat. The groomer isn't far away, but I figured it would be a different starting point anyway. I dropped her off and realized that I had forgotten my Garmin! So, I drove back to the house and got the Garmin and headed out from home...leaving my visor and headphones in the car!! Seriously, how forgetful can I be? Well, I was already going so I just hoped it wouldn't be too sunny and tried to get a good running song in my head.

About a mile into my run (while singing "Up on the rooftop, reindeer paws (or is that pause?) Out jumps good ole Santa Claus" WHERE DID THAT SONG COME FROM??) I realized I was having trouble. Often it is a little difficult getting started, but by this point I should be getting into a groove. But...not so much. I felt like I was pushing really hard and was having a little trouble keeping it around 11:00 miles. My legs just felt like they had lead weights strapped on them. I pushed through a while longer and ended up cutting my long run a little short...yeah by about 10 miles!! When I got home I was beat and I had only made it 3.12 miles! Plus my knee felt like I had twisted it a little.

Hmmm, maybe I will try again on Sunday...

Sunday morning I did some shopping with the family while there seemed to be a constant COLD drizzle. I really wanted to get in some more miles, so when we got home I got into my running clothes. I put on a long sleeve top and my tights (they are pretty thin) and a jacket for the rain. I pulled on gloves and a winter hat to keep my head dry. Off I went...and it had stopped raining! Amazingly, it did not rain one drop while I was out for my run! Of course, that meant that I was way overdressed. I took a trail that I haven't been on in a while (since last year) and about a 1.5 miles from home I stopped to strip down. I took off the jacket and tied it around my waist, the gloves hung nicely from the jacket, but what to do with the hat? I was on a wooded bridge, and I decided to just tuck it between two slats of the railing until I come back through.

I was feeling good - but was afraid to go too far from home (in case it started downpouring). So, at mile 3 I turned around and headed back. As I passed over the bridge on my way back through I looked for my hat and it was nowhere to be seen! Who would take a hat they found alongside a trail? Oh well, I guess they needed it more than me (and it was seriously just a cheap couple dollar hat anyway). During mile 5 I realized I was going to cut the run at the 6 mile mark (I was thinking of adding some more mileage on when I got close to home) since my knee was starting to bother me...so I picked up the speed for the last mile...9:11 pace!! I ended up finishing the 6 mile run in almost exactly an hour - pretty cool.

Last night, my knee was killing me. I took the day off today (unplanned) and have taken some Advil which has worked wonders.

Friday, April 17, 2009


"Thank you for submitting your entry for the October 4, 2009 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon: Marathon."

Ahhhhh!!! I am so Excited! Nervous! Proud! Scared! Only 24 weeks to train!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Run the Valley 5K Race Report

I was hoping to run this one with the kids/stroller, but the weather ended up being a bit too cold. I also didn't know which race I was going to run until that morning (5K or 10K), but the cold made that decision for me too.

When I got there I realized I made a bad decision wearing my capris instead of full length running tights. My legs were freezing! Luckily the registration area is indoors so I was able to stay reasonably warm. I had both a fleece vest and a wind-breaker jacket on and took off the jacket just before the start. The crowd looked a little smaller than in previous years (this was my first ever race back in 2005 and my 4th time running it). I wasn't planning on running this one for time, so I lined up around the middle of the pack (this is one of the few non-chip timed races that I run). And we were off!

The only hills on this course are right in the first mile. Normally that drives me crazy because I have just started running again after taking most of the winter off and I get tired out at the beginning of the race. But this year I am much stronger having actually run this past winter and I thought it was nice to get the hills out of the way and not have to worry about them for most of the race.

When we got to the first mile marker I checked the Garmin and saw that I was just over a 9:00 pace...really?? That is faster than my current PR!! And I wasn't even pushing the pace! Right then the plan changed from "take it easy, enjoy the race, don't worry about time" to "I can PR if I keep this up!!" Plus, like I said, the hardest part of the course was over already!

So, I kicked it into a slightly higher gear and hoped I could hang on for the last 2 miles. During mile two I was actually still passing people. There is a water stop right around the 2 mile marker, but I skipped it and just kept going. Throughout mile 3 there was a kid that I kept playing leapfrog with...he would sprint a short distance and pass me, then walk to catch his breath while I passed him. He looked so defeated each time I passed him that I kinda felt bad for him.

I had a little energy left for a bit of a punch at the end and as I came around the corner (the finish line is sort of hidden in a parking lot around the corner) I saw the time...under 28 minutes!! I could barely believe it! I mean, I was originally planning on something closer to 30-31 minutes. Not only did I get a new PR, I also accomplished my 5K goal time for 2009!!

Just for fun, I looked up my times for this race in the past:
2005 - 37:15
2006 - 33:33
2008 - 34:05
2009 - 27:47
Quite the improvement, huh?

As I was sitting on the sidewalk eating my donut and cheering in the later finishers a girl came through with quite the crowd support...she was wearing a shirt that said she was the "Birthday Girl" the announcer said it was her 12th birthday. I thought that was pretty cute!


Race: Run the Valley
Date: April 4, 2009
Distance: 5K
Official Time: 27:47
Average Pace: 8:57
Overall Place: 62/199
Place in Age Group: 6/32

Where have I been?

Has it really been over a week since I blogged? Where has the time gone?

Well, last week was a good running week...this week, not so much.

Last week I had 3 easy runs between 2-4 miles each, one interval workout (I really do enjoy the intervals) that was 6.5 miles and a 5K race which I will blog about later (I will post a race report). I missed having a long run, but besides that it was pretty nice.

This week started out on vacation in the Dells - the waterpark capital of the world (or something like that). Amazingly, I actually made it to the treadmill Monday morning and went 2.5 miles, which was all I had time for because the park opened at 9:00 and I needed to get back and in my suit before the rest of the family left me behind. Tuesday I just didn't have the motivation to do it again. Yesterday was my first day back at work and I really wanted to sleep in...so I didn't make it to the gym. This morning I finally made it to the gym, but I was in a hurry again...I had an 8:00 meeting this morning which I didn't want to be late for. So, in order to get more miles into my limited time I upped the speed (logical, right?). Well, when I paused the treadmill at 3.4 miles I realized how dizzy I was getting (that's never happened before) and didn't think it would be smart to continue running like that. I finished out another 0.1 mile to make it an even 3.5 at a slower pace and wasn't feeling any better, so I got off.

So, that puts me right at 6 miles so far for the week! Not looking good. I really have to get a good long run in this weekend. I haven't actually made it into double digits yet this year and I have a half marathon in just about 3 weeks!! I was hoping to be more prepared for it. Only 2 more long run weekends left!