Sunday, April 29, 2012

Three Half Marathons in 5 weeks :)

I've run three half marathons in the past 5 weeks:

3/25 Rock CF 2:22:37
Martian 2:12:09
4/28 Let's Move 2:10:26

Honestly, I have really enjoyed them all!  When I was training for my first full in Detroit last October I remember telling someone that once I run this full, I think I'll find that I love the half most!  Kinda true :)  Martian was by far the most fun, since so many of my friends were there and I didn't really focus on my own race until mile 9 or so.

During both Rock CF and Martian I felt really good and didn't feel like I was going to die throughout the race.  Let's Move I was more exhausted and a bit uncomfortable during race, due to focusing on pushing myself from the get go, trying to stay under 10min/miles the entire time.

I'm a numbers person, so I was excited to check out my splits from these races.  I had a mini-heart attack today with my garmin wouldn't connect to the computer or even turn on.  But after ignoring it for a few hours, it's back to normal!  Thank goodness!!

Holy 9:21 first mile Batman yesterday!  Whoops, that was too fast :)

I'm sure most of you don't care about all these numbers, but I like looking at them.  My favorite part is the fact that my average pace decreased from 10:48 to 10:02 to 9:54.  Love it!!  I have always had 10min/miles in my head as the ultimate goal and now that I've met that and surpassed it, I'm in uncharted territory! 

I'm really happy with my running lately - really, can't you tell??!! - and a little excited to cut back on racing for the month of May and train for the Dexter-Ann Arbor half on June 3rd.  I think I'll enjoy the glory from this race for a little while :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

5 for 5 ladies and gents!

Yeah, that's right; I've run five races in 2012 and have PR'd in all 5 of them!  I know my streak must end soon and honestly, I was worried it was going to be today.  Alas, it wasn't!  Must have been my awesome PR shoes!! (even if they did get muddy at Martian)
The day started fabulous, being able to sleep in for a change since I stayed at my parents' house last night.  My mother in law came over and we walked up to the race start around 8am.  Their 5K started at 830am so it worked perfectly.  We met my sisters and had daddy snap a quick pic.
Sister numero uno, mom, sister numero does, mom in law and freezing me!

They took off and I wandered around for a bit to find anyone I knew.  Chatted here and there and then used gear check for the first time in my life.  I just checked my jacket and is was super simple and very secure, manned by 6 sheriff dept members.  Apparently my jacket is kinda a big deal :)

The race started at 9am and was fairly uneventful, in a good way.  It was a million times better than my experience at this race last year and the miles passed fairly quickly.  I started off a bit too fast then leveled out and tried to stay sub-10min miles the rest of the time.  I purposely made myself a bit uncomfortable by pushing the pace and it paid off!

Weird thing about this race - I took in no fuel the entire race.  I had my go-to sports beans with me, but never felt hungry or the need to eat them, so I didn't.  Hmmm...

I round the last turn to see the finish line and heard sister numero dos yelling my name.  It was AWESOME!!  I waved to her, apparently while closing my eyes :)
That was just the push I needed to sprint like crazy to the finish line (and chick 3 people!).  I've finally found my kick!  I used to not be able to pick it up at the end and now I can make myself really uncomfortable for the last little bit, which was totally worth it as I stopped my garmin:

almost 2 minute PR from 2 weeks ago at Martian!

I picked up my medal and some water, got my jacket from gear check and headed to see my family, smiling the entire time!
Family with dad and niece included - they all did the 5K.  Daddy placed 6th in his AG with a 1:01 finish!!  He got a PR, too!!

Overall, GREAT day!  I wasn't sure if I would be able to take any more time off my half and am so thrilled with how this race went.  Thank you everyone for your encouragement and support, I  totally re-read them all before the race :)

It must be my PR shoes!

Yep, another PR this morning!

Let's Move Festival of Races Half Marathon in Mt. Clemens.  Mom, Dad, Mom in law, both sisters and my niece did the 5K :)

Garmin finish time 2:10:26, which is about a 2 min PR. 

Felt good.  Not as fun as Martian, but good race for sure!

Heading out to the batting cages with my sis and bro in law to practice for my new beer league now!!  Full recap when I get home :)

Thanks for all the love!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ready to go!

 I can't believe how many ladies paint their skin when their toe nail comes off!  I know lots of runners lose toe nails, but I never thought of that!  Thanks for the support everyone, it was really helpful and comforting to know I'm not a weirdo! 

As for tomorrow, I'm ready.  I have everything packed up and ready to race this half tomorrow.  I'm heading straight to my parents' house after work today and should be ready to rock and roll.  My bib is waiting there.  I love everyone's advice and am going to run the first 5ish miles conservatively and then crank it up if I'm feeling good - which I will be!  It's going to be 35-40 degrees at the start and I'm still wearing shorts, so I'll just have to run fast to keep warm :)

I've been feeling so good with my training and recent races there is no reason why I can't go out and rock it out!  I'd like to match my Martian 2:12 or beat it.  I'm not too crazy to think I'd like to go sub-2 this half, mostly since I haven't trained AT ALL for that, but I think I could still finish strong and fee great about it!

So, I'll let you know what happens :)  Thanks for your support this far!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Race it or Run for Fun?

I'm running another Half Marathon this weekend - the Let's Move Festival of Races in Mt. Clemens, MI.  It's in my hometown, just a quarter mile from my parents' front door.  I love not having to get up super early for a race!

I did this race last year and it was okay - not awesome, but just fine.  I really like it since I have been able to talk family into the 5K and to come out and cheer me in :)

But I can't decide if I want to race it or not...  Last year when I ran this race, I wanted to kill my previous time and I ended up about a minute slower, so I was mad when I crossed the finish line.  Add that to a bunch of family members there for the first time and it wasn't so fun.

Since I've taken 21 mins of my half time in the past few weeks, I'm at a point where I don't think I can do any better at the moment, so should I just go conservatively?  And in that case, am I just being lazy and fearing a DNF?  Maybe.  But I don't want a repeat of last year. 

The good news is that I have a friend running it and we will most likely rock it out together.  That, coupled with extra sleep, a short walk to the start line from home, and family at the end should make this a super fun weekend. 

Or.............. do I go for a PR?  Maybe I'll just wait to see how I feel on race morning... that's what I did for Martian and it worked well for me!


In other news, kinda gross running related news, I lost another toe nail.  Yeah, Detroit Marathon has now claimed two of them!  The first one was a small nail that came right off to reveal a beautiful, shiny new nail underneath.  No pain, no ugliness.

This one, however, is very much the opposite.  It's on my big toe.  It's been dying for awhile and getting progressively darker since Detroit, but finally saw its last day this week.  It didn't/doesn't hurt at all, which is great, but it is hidious.  And it's about to be summer sandal weather.  Yuck! 

So what do I do?  Rock it out proudly in sandals even though I'm sure it will gross people out?  Cover it with a bandaid all summer - but I HATE the sticky stuff/dirt/black lines that come along with a bandaid.  Or get those toe socks/finger condom things and just cover it up all summer? 

Maybe this is my next step?
What did/do you do when you lose a toenail?  There's no way I'm alone in this!  Maybe I'll be brave enough to post an actual pic later...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Giggles and Chatter

A lot of runners from our group raced this weekend in the Martian or Big House Big Heart.   Our coach put a huge recap together including everyone's times and PRs and fun details to email out to everyone.  Here's the excerpt of me and my besties.  It's hilarious and I'm starting to see how everyone sees us :)

From Coach Gina: 

You probably notice these girls every Tue and Sat with their giggles and chatter, but they are not to be reckoned with as they blast through their races knocking off PRs right and left. Amanda came in with a 3:59 PR to finish in 2:07:31, Rose ran a half a couple weeks ago just to see what she could do and came back from the CF Rocks Half marathon with a 11:17 min PR but did not stop there-she went to Martian and knocked off another 10:22 PR to finish in 2:12:14! Rose is wondering what she can do if she "gets serious" - look out Sonia, you might have another student soon! And Liz who runs with these "silly" girls did not want to be out-shined, so she brought home a 5:20 PR with a 2:27:43 finish.

I think our group sees us as entertainment and comic relief :)  Last night at our group run, one of the faster runners told me that before she even saw our names, she knew just who Coach was talking about with that first sentence!  Maybe more people need to have more fun running :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

A few more Martian thoughts

I felt really good racing this weekend.  Ever since I ran the Detroit full in October, I haven't been on a training plan and have just been running for fun with friends.  I've been running 3-4 times a week with 10-14 miles on Saturdays since then, just for fun and I LOVE IT!
When I PR'd at Rock CF three weeks ago, it felt great and I didn't feel like i was going to die at the end of the race.  I had a little bit left in the tank.  I took 11 mins of my half time at that race.  I was originally not going to run the Martian half so I could focus on doing well at the Let's Move half in a couple weeks.  Secretly, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to run another good race like I had at Rock CF, so I didn't want to bother, or ever worse, run slower...
So, I'm glad I went out there and kicked Martian's butt!  I felt great the entire time, focused on the people I knew on the course - on the out and back part - and just felt fabulous.  I didn't start focusing on my own race until mile 9 and when I passed a fast friend of mine, I knew I was in good shape.

I didn't want to get in my own head though, so I just kept going along, talking to various runners on the course.  I never felt tired, sore, or out of breath during the race.  My garmin was showing between 9:30-10:15 instant pace and I was just rolling with it.  It sounds so crazy, but this 10 min PR just happened.  Kinda out of nowhere. 

So now I've got to thinking... if I can take 11 mins off my half time easily and then take another 10 mins off three weeks later on accident, what can I do if I actually focus on a goal and go for it? 
Am I afraid of falling short?  Yes.  But couldn't it be awesome?  YES.  So, I'll run my next half for fun; it's in my home town anyway :) 

Then focus on a sub-2 hour half for the Dexter-Ann Arbor in June.

1) Am I crazy?  It'll be my first time-goal race I've ever run...  I may have created an animal! 
2) How do you guys do it? 
3) Do you set lofty goals each race?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another New Half Marathon PR!

I decided to run this race last weekend and took another 10 minutes off my best time.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I took ten minutes off my 11 minute PR from three weeks ago.  I'm a maniac!

And to think, I haven't had these goals planned out (or really even thought of), I've just been running consistently with our group and feeling STRONG.  

For those of you counting at home, that's 21 mins off my half marathon time in 3 weeks!!  I'm not even going to apologize for my cockiness, either; I feel great!
Three friends with new half marathon PRs :)

The official results are up, but the chip time and clock time are the exact same for everyone, so I'm sure they'll fix that soon.  

My garmin says 2:12:09, the official results say 2:14:11.   I'm gunna stick with my garmin time and call it a PR by 10:27!  Add that to the 11:17 PR from three weeks ago and I have taken off 21:44 from my half marathon time in three weeks.  

I LOVE TO RUN and as my Coach says, I'M RUNNING OUT LOUD!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lots of Running

I don't have anything interesting to report short of the fact that I'm loving to run more each day.  Saturday was a nice 12 miler with rest days on Sunday and Monday. 

Tuesday was speed work at the track with the group.  We did a jog out to the track, 4 miles alternating one lap fast and one slow, and slow jog back. For the overall 5.5 miles, we averaged 9:30!  That is fast for me!  I can see myself getting faster and loving it! 

I did the fast laps around 8:20-8:40 and then by the time the slow lap came, it felt so difficult to slow down to 10:30.  My recovery lap was 9:30-10:00, again, fast for me.

I know that times vary for everyone and to many, this is slooooooooow, but it has been a long time coming for me and I'm really liking the way it is going!  

It really goes to show you what consistent running can do.  For me, it's the social aspect of running with friends that gets me out there, looking forward to each run.

I knocked out another 6 miles tonight with a friend after work and will probably run a few slow miles with the group again tomorrow.  

Oh yeah, and I actually registered for the Martian half this Saturday, so that's coming up, too!!  Check out the fun medal:
I haven't decided if I'm going to race it this weekend or run for fun.  I just took 11 minutes off my half marathon time a few weeks ago and am not sure I can do any better...  So I may just run for fun since I have a lot of friends that will be running.   Hmmmm I guess I have a couple more days to decide :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Another Half Marathon

After a great 10 miler that turned into a 12 miler this morning, I think I've decided to run a half marathon next weekend.  Running Fit's Martian Invasion of Races to be specific.  It's in Dearborn and really well run.  It was my first 10K two years ago and I really enjoyed it.  They have a 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon, all in the martian theme. 

I had originally decided not to run it, and to rein it in for the next two weekends in prep for my half on April 28th in Mt. Clemens, but in reality, I run 10-12 miles every Saturday, why not just jump into a race one weekend?  Especially when I have a bunch of friends from my running group doing it, too! 

Plus, I nailed it at the Rock CF Half two weeks ago, taking 11+ minutes off my half time, so I'm in no rush to get a new PR.  Not that it isn't possible, as these two routes are relatively flat, but I'm not dying for it.  

Additionally, our group run is canceled for this coming Saturday since so many of our runners will be racing the Martian, so I may as well jump in on the fun.  So, yeah, that's the new plan.  Just have to register now. 

It's funny how two  years ago, I wasn't sure if I would be able to complete a 10K and now I'm registering for a half marathon six days before I'll run it.  I LOVE what running has done for me :)

Anyone else running Martian next weekend?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cross Training WEEK

I don't normally cross train at all.  I know, I know, I should... I just don't.  I like to take my non-running days to go to bed early.  Or sit on the couch and watch garbage tv while my husband is at work (I'm addicted to Dance Moms and can hardly believe I'm admitting it!)

This week, however, is completely different.  I run an after school program and we're on Spring Break this week.  Instead of a week off, I offer full-day child care for ~25 school age kiddos each day.  Ten hours of non-stop activity each day!  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE these days, it's just that I'm exhausted when I get home :)

Monday left me SOOO SORE!  We took the kids to an inflatable bouncy place.  If you've never been, picture the 'moon walk' from when we were kids on massive steroids.  It's essentially a warehouse with a while bunch of inflatable toys to run around on.  Regular bouncers, huge slides and even double obstacle courses to race your friends!

While it was SOOOO MUCH FUN, I was exhausted the entire rest of the day, came home, went to bed 15 minutes later, and slept 12 hours.  I woke up and had the sorest triceps ever.  (Is 'sorest' a word?)  We're talking more sore than Tony Horton has ever made them.  I have no idea how I used my triceps in such a crazy way, but judging by my soreness two days later, I sure did.

Yesterday and today have included fun games in the gym which inevitably turns into adults vs kids each time.  No sitting in the back, playing nicely with the little ones.  We're talking 5 on 25, basically running around the place.  If it were an actual running workout, it would have been 2 hours of fartlets.  Yikes.  My quads are already sore.

We also got out the huge TV and Dance Dance Revolution.  Prior to Tuesday, I had never DDR'd before and now, I'm on fire!  I love it!  The kids have taught me the tricks and we've been playing a LOT.  I NEVER let them watch TV or play video games, but DDR is exercise and FUN!  It even counts up the calories burned... now I want one for my house :)

The many sweat sessions at school/work have left me not so gorgeous and a little stinky, but feeling so GOOD about myself and the example I'm setting for the kids.  Someday, if I'm lucky enough to be a parent, I want to be an active parent who is out there playing with their kids instead of telling them what to do.

Good news is that we only have one more day.  I'm off to bed if I can make it upstairs..... sooooo tiiiiiiired :)