Monday, March 28, 2011


HOLY CRAP!  I can't even believe the amount of things in this giveaway - you HAVE to check it out!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week-long Update with 5.99 miles

So, I've been lazy since the half marathon on Sunday, but I'm okay with it. I'll start with my only run in the past 7 days.

I got up this morning really early and had nothing to do, so I went to the gym. It is still ridiculously cold for MI and I'm over bundling up and being freezing outside, so I drove the 2 mins to the gym. There were a lot of people there for early Sunday morning.

The four tvs had nothing interesting on, so I started the movie on the projector. It was The Fighter! We had just watched this last week and it was really good, so I was excited to see it again. Of course, with no sound or subtitles, I had to use my imagination, but it was still work it to watch Christian Bale and Marky Mark :)

I planned to run 5-6 miles as long as I was feeling okay and I've never felt better! Maybe that's just what happens when you take 6 days off from running. Anyway, I got in a solid 5.25 miles in the 60mins before the treadmill cuts you off. I HATE THAT!! Who says you have to do a 'cool down' when you hit 60mins? There's no way that's the max you can run on a machine. So every couple minutes it went down to 4.5mph and I had to crank it back up.

I ran the first 5.25 miles slowly and relaxed at 5.5mph and the last part all over the place. The machine kept taking me down to 4.5, then I would jump up to 6.5 and then at the very end I was so annoyed, I cranked it up to 7.5 just to finish the run.

After 65 mins, the treadmill just stops. Of course, I just hit 5.99 miles. Lame. So after the last sprint, I jumped off (since it just stopped anyway) and had to wait for it to reset for me to start it again for a cool down. The last mile was lame, but it doesn't take over how great the first 5 felt.

Overall, it was an excellent run cause I felt great and was super sweaty. Also, secretly, I won't get off the treadmill until everyone that was there when I arrived is finished. I don't want anyone to 'out-do' me, so I 'won' in that department too!

I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to, but I had to vent it out today.

In other news, my six days off were filled with all sorts of random things:

I drove an hour to go to my sister's Monday night. I missed her kids so much, I hadn't seen them since the end of February when they came to stay for the weekend. Turns out, the 6 yr old had surgery the week before and my sister had just been diagnosed with a sinus infection and dbl ear infections that morning. I like to think I was a nice change for the crazy household. So, I played and played, helped with homework and got to read bedtime stories :)

My husband's birthday was this week and he had three nights off this week! First day off, on bday eve, we totally junk-fooded out by spending $60 at Walmart on garbage food and a new game to play. We don't do it often, but when we're bad, we're horrible. Easter candy is very hard for me to stay away from. Who am I kidding - all candy is!

On his actual birthday, he and I went out for a steak dinner. The problem was that we filled up on rolls, appetizer and salads and were full before our entrees came. We each took a couple bites of dinner and packed them up. I had a great steak and mashed potato lunch the next day!

This Saturday, we went out to a Brazilian steakhouse with more family. It was the second time we'd been there and we LOVED it! We help ourselves to a salad bar and then servers come to our table all night with fresh cooked meat on swords and cut them off for us. My favs were the leg of lamb, rump roast and filet mingon. We gorged on more meat than I've had in the past month. It was delicious and a great way to celebrate.

This week was also the Middle School Musical Production of Grease! I went with friends to opening night on Thursday and I have to say that it was amazing. I started working at my school when I was in undergrad when the graduating 8th graders were in 1st grade. They've grown up so fast!! I used to babysit for the shy, reserved girl that played Rizzo and man, she fit the part perfectly!! I was so proud of them all!!

So, there's a bunch of excuses for my one run this week, but I don't even feel bad about it. I missed running and had a great run this morning, so now I'm ready to get back in the swing of things for my next half marathon in 5 weeks!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rock CF Half Marathon Recap

Today's Half Marathon was awesome!! The weather cooperated, the route was flat and gorgeous, and lots of people came out for this inaugural race.

I rested up all day on Saturday and tried to get to bed early. That of course, was difficult since I was so excited for the race. So I finally got to sleep sometime after 11pm and the alarm went off at 4:15 :)

Yes, I arrived way to early, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. I still can not believe how incredibly organized the race was and how friendly all the volunteers were. This was by far my favorite race so far!

Before the race started, I met Detroit Runner and In Steph's Shoes. It was really exciting to meet some of my online-motivation in person and man are they fast! I hope to be where they are in their running this time next year.

I donated my three race medals Medals 4 Mettle and headed to the starting line. I had no idea they even played the national anthem or had any sort of announcements until I read it on Detroit Runner's recap since there were so many people and it was really loud (and I line up way in the back). Whoops.

The strange thing about this race is that I was never really nervous about completing the distance. I know it sounds cocky (and believe me, I'm not, especially about running) but I went in so confident. My first 10 miler and long run of 12 miles - both solo - gave me more confidence than I've ever had in my life.

I made a running friend just after the 1 mile marker and we chatted and ran together for the first 7 miles! I've never done that before. He was friendly and we ran at the same pace, so time just flew by. Mile 3 passed my aunt and uncle's house and I was already salivating for the delicious breakfast that was to be had after the race.

The GU at mile 4 was a pleasant surprise and just what I needed. A great pick-me-up and in one of my fav flavors - Vanilla Bean. I've only used GU twice before, so I am still getting used to it. I'm not sure if it actually helps my legs or just eases my mind, but either way, I'll roll with it.

The first 7 miles flew by with almost no wind and felt great! Just after the 7 mile marker, my first running friend stopped for a walk break and I kept going. We said our goodbyes and I was off running on my own again. At this point, the trail of runners had thinned out quite a bit, but I didn't feel like I was the last one, which is nice.

I ran the next mile solo and remember thinking about how fast it is going, I want to be sure I enjoy it. The funny thing is that I thought that same exact thing on our wedding day, in the church, as we were kneeling for the opening prayer. Weird. The crazy things that pop into your head as you run.

Just before the 8 mile marker, a couple of girls were coming up behind me and we all ran together for a short time. They were chatty-cathys so I assumed they knew each other. At the sight of the 8 mile marker, one of them announced it was time for her walk break, so she wished us luck and left us two to keep going.

She became my second race friend. She's a spartan (but I'm a wolverine) and we chatted together as we ran the entire rest of the race together. It was a lot of fun! I knew I would enjoy this race in general, but I've never made friends to comfortably chat with throughout a race - how awesome!!

The whole race was beautiful and I was glad I opted for all three layers on top - base tank, long sleeve turtleneck and obnoxious orange running jacket - they were perfect for the weather. I was worried it would get really windy as we ran down the west side of the island for a little over 5 miles, but the only time the wind was annoying was during the one mile in front of the airport. It was whipping right in our faces, but thank goodness we were only in that direction for a mile.

My MSU friend and I pushed each other through the last few miles and even picked it up the last half mile to finish in 2:33:53, a PR by 24 minutes from the Detroit Half!

I LOVED this race and really hope Emily does it again next year, in fact, I already emailed her my thoughts - and she returned my email that same night - what a crazy awesome person :)

After the race, I picked up a water and bagel and headed to my aunt and uncle's for a delicious home-cooked breakfast. Gluten-free Waffles, fresh sugar covered strawberries and the thickest bacon I've ever seen! Delicious and just what the doctor ordered!

Now, I've been resting and foam rolling my left IT all afternoon. I spoiled myself with pizza dinner and trying to come up with a plan to increase my speed (just a little) for my next half in Mt. Clemens on April 30th.

Overall, I'm so happy with my time, but even more so with my attitude and the fact that I was able to run the entire 13.1 miles!

ps. I promise I'll try to work on more pics this year :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rock CF Half Marathon tomorrow

Thanks everyone for the eating pre-race advice and encouragement. I picked up some extra GU yesterday and I think I have a plan ready. Temps are in the low 30s for race time, but at least there won't be rain! It's weird that it's been so nice out the past few days but then is going cold again tomorrow, but that's fine. I'm just excited to get there!

Today is a total rest day for me. I ran a child care event at work yesterday for 12 straight hours where we ran relay races in the hallways of school - so much fun!! Yesterday was going to be a rest day, but the kids were having so much fun I had to jump in! It was like my first 'speed work' plan - sprint down this hallway, tag the next kid, rest 30secs or so until someone came to tag me and sprint some more. That's the fun of working with elementary kids :) and also the reason my quads are a bit sore this morning - not the best plan I've ever had, but one of the most fun!

Tomorrow's going to be awesome, I haven't started freaking out about the distance yet. Mentally, I honestly feel like I can run the entire 13.1 without having to stop and that's a huge hurdle for me. I'm just hoping my legs agree, although in past experience, if you have the head on-board, anything is possible!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend and I'll let you know how it goes! That is, after a huge carb-filled breakfast, ice bath, hot shower and nap tomorrow :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2 easy miles

I'm down to days before my half marathon and I can't wait. It was so gorgeous in Michigan today (55ish) that I rushed home from work to enjoy the daylight. I took my dogs out for a nice and easy 2 miler around the neighborhood and it was amazing how many people were out - kids bike riding and rollerblading, dads washing cars and families going for a walk.

It was nice to be outside and not have to think about bundling up. Today was the first time I've been able to wear by capri pants and not full length running tights this year :) It was also my first evening run since October. It makes me love daily savings time!

So excited for the half this Sunday! I'll be running a couple more times before then, just a few light 20 minutes each time. I just wish I knew what to wear for the race - with the weather change I'm just not sure yet.

My other question is how do I handle the timing before the race? I should arrive at the race no later than 530am (race starts at 730 and there's limited parking), which means leave my house around 445am, get up 4ish. So how do I pack food so that I'm not starving come race time? That's what I'm worried about....

At least the good news is that I'm not currently worried about the actual race distance - after my 12 mile long run a week and a half ago, I feel really prepared for the race :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Week Away!

It's only one week from today that I'll be running my second Half Marathon. This is the first one I'll be injury-free and properly trained for, so I'm excited to run it all the way through. The race is at 730am about an hour away from my house, so I'm hoping I figure out my pre-race fueling that morning. I typically eat right when I wake up and then go run, so we'll see how this works out.

The good news is that I should be able to meet up with a couple bloggers at this race, so something to look forward to before hand and then I have family that lives on the island who will have a large breakfast waiting for me afterward, so it's going to be a great day! I'm really looking forward to it. Right now, the weather forecast calls for rain that day, but what do they know anyway ;)

I ran my last long run yesterday - 6 miles - and they felt great. I feel like I say that a lot about my runs, but I swear, it's the truth :) I'm taking my dogs out for a little 3 miler this afternoon, so that will be fun.

I'm really looking forward to next week. It's weird to think that I was so nervous that I wouldn't be prepared for this race that I didn't sign up until just a couple weeks ago. I'm still surprised in how I doubt myself, even though I followed a great training plan to the letter. I'm just happy with where I am now.

This will be a light week for me with the race on Sunday, so I'm looking forward to that. Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 11, 2011

"I Just Felt Like Running" Virtual 5K Result

I completed my first virtual 5K last night - it was pretty exciting. I wasn't sure what to expect and it worked as a perfect reason to get to the gym and run 3.1 miles. I had 3 miles on the schedule and had been really tired from work all week, but this race was just the motivation I needed. Jeff at Detroit Runner had it all set up for us and it was kinda fun!

I ran my 5K on the treadmill at the gym since it was dark and cold out last night. I even increased the speed more then I usually do. Surprisingly it felt great. I had good music to listen to and plenty of entertaining things on the tvs in front of me. The time flew by and felt great.

My official time was 30:39 which is really good for me. I felt great afterward and was glad I went. I pushed it at the end and increased the speed faster than I had before.

Thanks Jeff for putting this on for us!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Third Time's a Charm - not 11, but 12 miles!!

Last Saturday I had planned to run my 11 miler, my longest run to date. I mapped it out the night before, laid out my clothes and then got up before 7am to find rain, so I went back to bed. All of Saturday was horrible weather-wise, so no run at all.

Sunday I got up before 7am and found kinda yucky weather, not the worst, but enough for me to talk myself out of it. Some snow had accumulated and the roads weren't cleared and I just wasn't feeling it.

Plus, my husband wasn't home yet. He works nights and then after work on Saturday (~3am) he and his buddies hold a poker tournament. The big winner will go play in some huge tournament in Vegas in May, so it's kind of a bid deal (so he says). Anyway, he doesn't get home until 8ish on Sunday morning and then usually sleeps the day away before going back to work that night. I called him and he was close to home, so we decided to go out to breakfast instead of me going for a run, that was an easy decision.

After a nice big Sunday breakfast and a nice long nap, I was up and ready for my third try at my 11 miler for the weekend. The sun was out and so was the traffic, so instead of the city route I had mapped out which is all on dirt roads with no sidewalks, I headed to the Metropark.

It was really sunny and nice when I arrived and parked further down the path than I usually do. After the first 4 miles to the end of the park and back I passed my car and dropped my running jacket and picked up my water bottle. I don't have a real hand-held running water bottle yet - I really need to look into one of those. The next three miles took me to the front of the park where I turned back around.

Passing my car again put me at 10.5 miles and I knew I only had a half mile left - broken down into a quarter mile past the car, turn around and run back to be done - but I felt the need to push it a little more. I run a consistent (slow to most people) speed and felt pretty good. I ran out a little bit further and when I turned back and ended at my car I had hit just over 12 miles!

I had it in the back of my head to push to 12 once I hit 11 miles, thinking what's one more mile at that point and it felt pretty good. I wasn't loving every second of it and my legs were certainly tired, but I was still running in good form. This run really made me feel much better about my upcoming Half in Grosse Ile in a couple weeks.

This 12 miler is the longest long run I'm going to run before the race on the 20th. I'll do around 8 miles this weekend and have fresh legs the the following weekend. I'm continually amazed at what my body can do and what my brain is capable of, even though I'm doing it totally on my own.

I got home and felt great!! It's been a very busy week at work for me - in early and still staying late, so I've been much more tired. Today is the first run I've had since Sunday which bums me out, but it's better than nothing. I find myself getting crabby and itching to run after missing this many days. I guess that's a good thing :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Any running book recommendations?

Today's a nasty day in Michigan - rain/hail/sleet and now snow. I had my 11 miler all mapped out to run first thing this morning, but woke up to crazy rain storms. I was so excited for the run that I even set an alarm for 645a and still woke up before it! That's a good feeling. With today's weather, I've put the run on hold until tomorrow morning.

The combination of crappy weather and my husband being gone all day had made me pretty productive around the house. I've been cleaning, organizing, doing laundry and catching up on reading. Which is when I realized I need some new running books.

Do you have any running book recommendations? Anything you've ready and enjoyed? I'm looking for something more fun than technical, but anything that you recommend would be awesome. I find that I get more motivation and confidence with more knowledge :)

Here's what I've already read and enjoyed:

The Long Run
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Half-Marathon Training
Fast Track
Living and Loving
How Running Changed my Life

I loved The Long Run! It was a great read and very inspirational. The Guide to Half Training was rather dry and I knew a lot of it already. Fast Track was a great first book although was a bit more technical than I would like. I met the author of Living and Loving at the Detroit Marathon expo, so I got her book. It was cute and inspirational but a bit too "God-dy" for my everyday life. The last book was a great bedtime read and was incredibly inspirational.

If you have any thoughts about great running reads or can point me in the right direction, please share!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

4 Miles :)

I got up this morning and drove to the metropark for my 4 miles. It was only me and 2 little old ladies this morning. Again, it was nice to have a cleared, paved area to run without worrying about traffic or uncleared sidewalk.

I never run outside with earbuds in for safety and to be aware of what's going on around me. Lately, I've been turning Pandora on my phone and listening to it on low in the arm pocket of my running jacket. The Black Eyed Peas station has really helped me keep going :)

Today, I ran without any music and just chugged out the 4 miles. It felt really good as I let my brain wander. I rarely think about the mileage, which is nice, and I come up with some really fun ideas and thoughts out of nowhere.

The round trip took me just about an hour and I still had plenty of time to get back home and get ready for work. I think this will be my new outdoor run plan on the weekdays :)

I'm hoping the weather cooperates for this weekend's 11 miler. Please no more freezing rain!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ABCs of Me :)

Everybody's doing it, so here's the ABCs of Me: a fun glimpse into my life :)

A-Age: just turned 28
B-Bed size: Queen, but California King is what I want next. Jake and Dexter take up all the space!
C-Chore I hate: cleaning the bathroom is the worst
D-Dogs: two rescued mutts that hog the bed, Jake (5) and Dexter (4)
E-Essential start to the day: breakfast - I wake up starving! my current favorite is turkey sausage on a whole wheat english muffin with mozzarella cheese and tomato

F-Favorite colors: blue, blue and blue
G-Gold or silver: Silver
H-Height: 5'8"
I-Instrument I play: HA! I'm tone deaf and have no rhythm
J-Job title: Director, After School and Summer Programs
K-Kids: 375 at school, 3 of my sister's, none of our own yet :) I still cherish sleep
L-Live: Belleville, MI
M-Mother's name: Norma
N-Nickame: Rose is my nickname, some kids call me Rosie, I grew up with Hambone and my sister calls me Babs
O-Overnight hospital stays: never! never even been to the hospital as a patient.
P-Pet peeve: messing up there/their/they're
Q-Quote from a movie: "And here's some crayons in case you get bored." ~Mrs. Potato Head, Toy Story 2
R-Right or left handed? Right
S-Sibling: two older sisters, I'm the baby :)
T-Time you wake up: anywhere between 5a on a good day to run or 930a if I need a sleep-in day
U-Underwear: clean daily ;)
V-Vegetable you dislike: squash
W-What makes you run late? my husband. If I'm not 15 mins early, I think I'm late - I get that from my mom
X-rays I've had: dental and my foot once, but no breaks
Y-Yummy food you make: desserts - cake balls are the best!

Z-Zoo favorite animal: monkeys! my husband loves the sea otters

Now you know everything about me! We can be bffs!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

5 Boring Miles

I had 5 miles on the plan today and thought it would be no big deal after the 10 miler this weekend. I couldn't have been more wrong. I did them on the treadmill at the gym and was B-O-R-E-D out of my mind. Even with 4 tvs and 1 movie screen right in front of me and about 10 meat-head gym rats nearby, I was still bored.

I don't know what it is about running inside on a treadmill, but I always want to stop. I'm not hurt or tired, just bored. When I'm running outside, I never stop for walk breaks, but on the treadmill I can come up with a million excuses to walk.

I think my new plan is to get up and drive to the nearby metropark to run on their cleared path in the mornings before work. I don't get up early enough for it to still be dark out which is good. Plus, I only run two weekdays right now, so I don't think it will cramp my style too much.

I have to say that I feel great about my running and couldn't be happier that I'm now 'out' to the blogging world. It's such a rush of energy to get re-motivated about my training plan and upcoming races. When I was bored on the treadmill today, I wouldn't let myself get off so I wouldn't let down any of my blogging friends. So, thanks to all of you out there :) I appreciate you all!