Friday, March 30, 2012

Great Morning!

Some mornings just suck and you don't want to get out of bed.  Others, like today, are just awesome and I'm thankful I have more of these kind than the dreadful ones. 

I met Rebecca for an awesome run this morning.  I jogged the half mile from my house to our meeting place and we took off.  It was kinda brisk this morning and I'm glad I didn't look at the weather, since there is no way I would have gone out in shorts in 34 degrees. 
My first attempt at using the self-timer.  You may be seeing more of these soon :)

Once we got going, I was fine and we enjoyed today's run.  I was so excited to try out my new tall blue socks.  I saw them on Danielle's blog a few weeks ago and HAD TO HAVE THEM.  I emailed her right away about them and in less than an hour, she had responded and I had bought them.  So far, I LOVE them :)  6.5 miles of fun this morning.

See, it's the simply pleasures in life.  A morning run with a friend.  Tall blue socks.  Crisp morning air.  Today's gunna be a great day!  Hope yours is too :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Race Pics are In

The race pics just came in for Rock CF's Rivers Half Marathon.
This finisher one isn't bad.
This is my friend Sam who is in my running group.  I didn't know this until recently, but apparently, he's lost 100+ lbs in the past year and just started running.  He and his wife cheered me in at the end and really helped me pick up the pace, see:
That 5:57 pace was rounding the track at the end of the race :)

Are you ready for the WORST race pic ever?  I'm good at these:
I think it's a combination of going to the bathroom and dying.  Yuck!  Toward the end of the race, I was sick of carrying my sports beans, so I just shoved the m&m tube in my shirt :)  I was too hot at the 8 mile point, so I took of my long sleeve, but I pinned my number to it at the last minute at the start, so I ran with it as an apron for the last 5 miles.  Nice. 

Hope you all have equally mortifying race pics!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rock CF Half Marathon Recap

Today was an awesome day!  
Short story: half marathon PR by 11:17 :)
Time: 2:22:36
Pace: 10:53
Age Group: 50/64
Overall: 699/834
Feeling: LOVED IT and felt strong the entire race physically and mentally

I ran this race last year and really liked it.  It's held on the small island of Grosse Ile where we essentially run the perimeter of the island.  I first read about it in Runner's World last year and contacted the Race Director, Emily.  She's 30, suffers and Cystic Fibrosis, and is doing amazing things to raise money for research for CF.  She puts on a great race and today was no different.

I got up pretty early, got to the island in time for a good parking spot, picked up my packet with ease and was ready to rock and roll.  I ran into some friends and chatted it up to kill time.  I also briefly saw Megan and Stephanie, which was super fun!  I met Stephanie last year at this race and it was great to see her again this year, pregnant belly and all :)  of course, I didn't take any pictures...

Right on time we were off and I was working hard to reign it in.  I wanted to keep the first few miles in the 11min/mile and then plan to pick it up a bit each mile until 11 where I'd take off.  The beauty of this race is that it's as flat as a pancake.
We run hills ALLTHETIME in our running group so it's incredibly rare to run on flat land, which was nice.  I felt GREAT, kept it reigned in, and followed my loose plan perfectly.
I was impressed by the water stations - every 2 miles throughout the race.  I skipped the first one as it was less than 2 miles in and I didn't feel like I needed it and then at mile 4, I passed the water on accident and then there was only powerade offered.  I'm not a big fan of any liquid other than water while I'm running, so I passed again and waited until the 6 mile water station to get a swig.  It worked for me :)

As we made the turn on the north end of the island and ran back south on the west bank, I was gradually picking it up and feeling great.  What I loved about this race is that I kept my head in it the entire time and felt great physically.
I fuel with cherry sports beans on the run and carry them in an old mini m&m container.  It's perfect for carrying my race fuel, keeping it handy and popping the top as needed to have a couple on the go.  It's so much easier than the plastic bag they come in.  The down side - to other runners - is that it rattles like a maraca the entire race.  My running buddies are totally cool with it as they are used to it, but in races, I always wonder who I'm annoying as I go.  Either way, it's a great conversation starter :)

As the mile 11 and 12 markers came and went, I kept picking it up and when the finish line was in sight, I TOOK OFF!  I've never had a 'kick' before in any race, so this was nice to pick it up at the end.  I saw a friend of mine and his wife as I was coming around the final part on the HS track and picked it up faster than I ever had before.  I had known since mile 10 or so that I'd PR no matter what, but once I crossed the line and looked at my garmin, I was ecstatic!  PR by over 10 minutes :)
The medal is really cool and overall, I LOVED this race.  It is definitely a race I'd like to do each year.  I do have family that live on the island and I head straight to their house after the race for a delicious home-cooked breakfast :)  Does it get any better than that??!!  NOPE!
Now it's R&R with compression shorts and socks  :)  Only 5 more weeks until my next half!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Half Marathon on Sunday

I just registered for the Rock CF half marathon on Sunday.  I've been thinking about it for months and finally just went for it.  I'm excited since I haven't run a half since this race last year and I'm excited to see how I feel and how I race after running with my group since June.

Check out the awesome medal!

In the ten months I've been running with the Running Fit 501 half and full marathon training program, I've PR'd almost every race I've run.  It's pretty exciting and I don't want to say it's without effort, cause it's NOT, but all of the races feel good since I've been training so much and so regularly.

The weather looks good for Sunday morning's race and I can't wait to meet up with some bloggers as well :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Awesome Weekend Recap

This couldn't have been a better weekend!  Everything was so much fun and even though I stretched myself soooooo thin, it was totally worth it!  Friday night included an auction benefit dinner, a friend's 30th bday party, trying a 'mini beer' shot - anyone ever heard of that?? - and closing down the bar with friends I hadn't seen in a long time.  So much fun.

After 2.5 hours of sleep, seriously that was it, I got up Saturday morning and met my running group for our 8 miler.  It was Patty's day and I made yummy cookies after all, so I couldn't miss it.  The first couple of miles were brutal as I was burping up Jack Daniels and Bud Light.  Delicious on the way down, not so much the next morning :/  After mile 3, I was feeling fine and really think that running is the new hangover cure!
After the run, I got in a nap - thank goodness - and then headed back to my hometown to celebrate my fam's favorite holiday at the local pub.  It was so much fun catching up with everyone, especially since the group at this pub are all people I went to grade school with and only see at church on the holidays.  Yes, I realize that many people don't go to the bar with their sisters and parents and see their grade school teachers, but I do and I love it.  As long as it is only once a year :)

Had a blast, saw more friends and then headed back home an hour away for bed.  The Shamrock N Roll 10k was bright and early the next morning and good thing I laid my outfit out the night before as it was almost midnight when I got home!  Not my typical pre-race prep, but oh well, I had fun :)

I missed my first alarm and was so glad I set my second one, so I quickly threw on clothes, grabbed peanut butter toast and headed to Plymouth.  By the time I got there, I had to search for parking, but found my bib and friends easily.  I ran into Detroit Runner Jeff right away, which was nice and calming :)  I was still half asleep and certainly hungover, but still looking forward to the race!
Decked out in my 501 Running group gear - thanks for the pic, Jeff!

The gun went off and I just hit the road feeling strong.  I know the first two were a little fast for me, but I concentrated on my breathing and felt okay.  Out of nowhere at mile 3, I started thinking how much I hate running and how I'll never finish this race.  WHAT??!!  How is that possible?  We rarely run less than 6 miles during any of our group runs and I ran a marathon 5 months ago.  Where was my muscle memory?  Why was I freaking out over a 10k? 

I got to the water stop at mile 4 and wanted to walk but didn't, I figured if I'd push it through, I'd get to mile 5 and then just finish.  I kept telling myself that anyone can run a mile, so just get to that 5 marker.  I finally did and was able to pick it up a bit.  At that point, I was ready to be done and couldn't believe that I was doubting myself.  Perhaps that was the beer talking, I don't know.  It had been a while since I felt that way. 
See how I went out too fast? 

Once I crossed the finish line, I felt an immediate sense of light-headedness and wanted something to drink.  I didn't throw up, but felt like I could.  I kinda felt like I gave it my all out there, but I didn't like where I was mentally.  I got over that really quickly when I looked at my garmin and realized I had PR'd.  I knew it would have been close to 2 minutes and was so happy with the time!!

In conclusion, you should eat junk, drink beer and whiskey, try new shots, sleep as little as possible, and you're certain to get yourself a new 10k PR!!  I don't know if you'll see that anywhere in the books :)

My only regret of the weekend is that I didn't have my camera with me to document all the fun!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New 10K PR at ShamRock n Roll!

Today's race was awesome - new 10K PR!

Official Time: 1:03:01 (PR by 1:55!)
Age Group: 58/98
Overall:  800/1322
Pace: 10:10

Full recap tomorrow - I need to get to bed after my crazy weekend filled with beer, whiskey, friends and a new PR - does it get any better than that?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random Tidbits

1. I had the pleasure of hanging out with this adorable baby yesterday and today.  One of the ladies I work with rescues dogs left and right and this is her newest.  My hubby and I considered adopting him, but I'm just not ready yet after losing one of our dogs just last month.  Maybe in another month or two...

2. The weather is beautiful in SE MI and only looking better for the rest of the week!  I was so excited to wear my running skirt tonight, even though we were doing really tough hill repeats.  We did five and a half miles filled with 10 really steep hill repeats.  It felt like we worked much harder than 5.5 miles sounds.  It was so hot out that by the 5th time up the hill, I was down to skirt and tank top!  Hello spring and summer!  This week looks great:

3. Volunteering on Sunday for a local charity 5K was fun!  Not as I had expected, but fun.  We were manning a corner of the race where the streets were closed off, and we were still responsible for helping the drivers find their way around town.  Being that we closed the streets from 830-11am on a Sunday morning, we had lots of angry church-goers.  I did my best to kill them with kindness :)
4. So I got over my itch for marathon number 2 this spring and will stick to the three half marathons I have planned between now and June.  I'm sure that will be plenty :)  It'll start off with a 10K this Sunday in Plymouth.  I'm really excited to go all out for a 10K - it's been awhile since I've done that.

5.  My hubby's bday is coming up in a couple weeks and I'm so excited to take him to a Detroit Red Wings game!  It's going to be so much fun!! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

I love to run!

I have the day off today and the first thing I thought was, I can run whenever I want!  How exciting!  I met a friend for 4 miles at the local metropark and it shocked me how cold it was in MI after Wednesday's 65 degree day.  Even though it's been a very mild winter, I'm so ready for spring!  I just want to run in my new running skirt :)
I got home from our run by 9am and had no idea what to do with myself all day.  Good problem to have, I know!  I don't get days off that often, so it's foreign to me.  I cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry, vacuumed the house and got back in bed for a nap - all before my husband woke up!

We were able to spend the afternoon together before he had to go to work and now I'm antsy.  I'd like to go out for another run, but I'm meeting the group for a long run in the morning, so I don't want to over do it.  Plus, we did running drills Tuesday night and my quads are still a bit sore from that!  You know it was a good workout when I'm still sore days later.... or it's a sign I need to do more of it in order to not be so sore :)

So, I know I'm all over the place, but just so excited to run run run!  The Girls on the Run program is starting at our school this coming week and I met with the coaches this week and can't wait to share this awesome program (and my love of running) with the kids at my school!

Sunday I'll be volunteering as a course marshall for a local Patty's Day race and next weekend I'll be racing the crap out of the ShamRock 'n Roll 10K in Plymouth with my 501 running friends, Jeff (Detroit Runner) and WatchMegoRun.  Well, not technically with Jeff and Megan, but we'll all be there :)

Hope you're all enjoying your running and getting pumped up for this year's race season to start :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back to Reality and upcoming Races

The week back from vacation has come and gone and I'm exhausted!  After a week with naps every day, an entire work day without a nap seemed so long! 

I've gotten back to a normal running routine, too.  Six hilly miles Tuesday night with the group, three miles with a friend Thursday morning, ten on Saturday and 3 more on Sunday.  All in all, a good week. 

Saturday morning's ten miles went really well.  I wasn't able to run with the group as I took some family members to the airport, so I ventured to the metropark to knock out ten on my own.  I can't remember when I ran that many miles on my own and it felt good.  Granted, I love running with my friends, but it was nice for me to get into my head a bit. 

I felt like I was prepping myself to cop out before I even started, but once I was out there, I was just rolling.  Each mile felt great, I was able to find more love of running within myself and I finished these ten faster than I have ever before.  A great day indeed!

So now I have to decide if I wanna push myself for a May 6th marathon (I can't do one on the 20th as I'll be out of town for work), or just rock out the half marathons I already have planned - Rock CF on March 25th and Let's Move on April 28th. 

I'll guess think about it as I volunteer for Shamrocks & Shenanigans next weekend and then kill it at ShamRock 'n Roll on the 18th. 

Now I can get back to the other things I enjoy: baking!!
This is my first attempt at chocolate and banana cupcakes with a cream cheese banana topping!