Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crazy Week Catch Up

It's been a very busy week!  I've had no time whatsoever to breathe let alone blog.  Here's a break down of the craziness that is my life:
My niece came to stay with us for the week and came to camp with me each day.  It was a lot of fun, but I don't know how all you parents do it!  My sister came to hang out with her one night so I could go to my speed workout with my running group and my husband took her out one night so I could go out with some girlfriends, so it was nice :)  She chose 'Run for Fun' and 'Weight Training' camps this week because she wants to join cross country when she begins middle school in the fall and "run like Aunt Rosie".  LOVE IT!!

Tuesday night's speed work was a lot of fun!  What?  Speedwork AND Fun?  Probably just because it's my first actual speed workout.  We did a mile out and back, flat and shaded.  Run the mile 'fast' for you, rest 4-5 mins and run it fast again.  Repeat for 4 full miles.  My running group partner Patti and I stuck together and were aiming for 10:30-11:00min miles and found ourselves a lot faster than we thought.  It's a lot harder than I thought it would be to rein it in.  Not what I had expected.   Mile 1 10:14, Mile 2 10:00, Mile 3 10:21, Mile 4 10:16 again.  We added in a 5th mile for a total of 52:05.  Great workout!  Felt awesome. 
Wednesday was a first meeting of our new book club with my running friend Rebecca.  She and her friends have put together a group and we met to discuss The Help.  Overall, I liked the book, but I can see both sides of the arguments that surround it.  I'm looking forward to getting to know these ladies more and reading some great books.  I'm hosting in August, so I can't wait!  We're reading Room, which I loved!!

We've had some major storms this week.  With intense heat of last week, the crazy storms weren't all that surprising.  Wednesday night after I got to bed much later than I had anticipated, I was awoken by a call from our Building & Grounds guy at work.  (Of course, on my sleep-in day when my assistant opens up)  He let me know the power was out at school.  No biggie I figured, we can run summer camp without power; we can get creative!  Then he let me know there's no functional plumbing.  That changes everything!  So for the first time in our school's history, we had to cancel summer camp.  And by 'we' I mean 'I'.  Sitting in my pjs on my couch at 730am, I emailed all the parents to let them know camp was canceled for the day.  My niece and I quickly threw clothes on and headed to school to let anyone that showed up know.  Overall, out of ~100 families, only 2 were mad and that's not bad at all to me :)  Once parents realized their kid couldn't go to the bathroom all day, they were typically okay with it.  
I did manage to squeeze in a pedicure on our bizarre 'day off'.  I typically go with a red polish that goes with everything all summer as if I'm not in running shoes, I'm in flip flops, but I opted for blue this time.  I figured with Friday being 'favorite color day' at work, it would be perfect.  The guy that did my pedicure was great about trimming off my running blister/calluses so carefully :)

Thursday night I got in 4 miles with my running partner while my niece rollerbladed behind us - talk about multi tasking!  It was nice to get in all my workouts even with my niece all week!
Friday my sister came to pick up my niece and she stayed for an hour or so to chat about her upcoming wedding!  Well, she just got engaged last Saturday, so the wedding isn't that soon, but it's still fun to talk all things wedding!  Here's our possible bridesmaid dress, it would be in Hunter or Kelly Green.  As soon as they left, I went straight to bed to rest up for Saturday's 12 miler.  
Saturday morning, 6:30am, 12 miles, 2:22:39, Awesome!  First 8 miles with a great group of 6 ladies - 3 of whom I just met that day so that was fun!  Then I met a new person who also had 12 on her schedule, so we ran 4 more together after the first ladies finished their 8 miles.  While it was hot out, it was nice to have a running partner the whole time!  My new friend Amanda is also training for the Detroit Full and was so much fun to get to know :)  We talked about husbands, our weddings, running, our nieces/nephews, our hair, you know all the fun stuff!  It really helped to make the time fly by!  This long run matched the longest training run I did solo for my March half and I can't wait to keep it going!!

Yes, I ran an awesome 5K this morning and while it wasn't a PR for me, I placed 3rd in my age group.  But, this post is already too long and I'm so excited for that, it gets its own post soon.  Stay tuned!

My FIRST Age Group Award!!

Yes, I took 3rd place in my age group in this morning's Electric Bolt 5K in Ann Arbor!  
It was so exciting!!  It wasn't a PR for me, but it was a great race!

It's a pretty cool medal - and that means a lot from me as I've donated all of my medals so far :)  
The glass was for all age group winners - I just put a blue washcloth in it so you could see the design.

You can't really read the Garmin, but my time was 30:56 which is a 9:59 pace and a 3rd PR for me 
(29:59 is my best and 30:40 is my 2nd and YES, I keep track of these things).  
However, this race felt better than those two!

I'm going back to bed for some much-deserved sleep after the longest/craziest/busiest week of my life, but I'll recap it all later tonight!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eight Great Miles!

Saturday's run was moved up to 5:30am due to the extreme heat in Michigan.  Honestly, I was totally fine with that.  Five years ago, I would sleep in until noon or 1pm every weekend and now, I was thrilled at the idea of setting an alarm for 4:35am!  Who am I?

This week is a very popular week in Ann Arbor - it's our Annual Art Fair.  About a thousand vendors come into the city and sell ridiculously expensive things.  Ok, I'm a bit biased.  I'm learning that locals despise this event and typically head out of town this week.  Millions of visitors come to the city, no one knows how to drive, all the streets are closed down and the city is just crazy.  

We found the exact opposite as we arrived at the store downtown Ann Arbor at 530am.  It was still dark out (and I was cold and I think was hated for that) and no one was around but us.  We could get into the city easily and find a parking spot right in front of the store. 

One quick group photo and we were off.  We ran a route that went right through the middle of the art fair, so there was no traffic to fight through.  We did a couple loops around the city and pretty soon, we were already at 4 miles.  The group I was running with was doing 6 miles and I had 8 on my schedule.  So, just like last week, I ran the first 6 with them and then went out for my last 2 on my own.  

I really didn't mind doing the last 2 on my own, in fact, they were my fastest miles of the day.  But I think this might be the new trend to run what my group/friends are doing and then finish the rest on my own.  I don't think it's the best option ever, but it could be worse.  I could have to run them all on my own. 

The problem is that all of the people I run with (or who run my pace, I should say) are all training for their first half marathon and I'm doing the full, so our plans are going to diverge.  I just didn't want it to be this soon.  Most of our routes are out and back, so I'd only be able to run the first half of their mileage and then keep going on my own.  That will be a lot of alone running time.  Granted, there are a lot of other people in our group who are training for a full and will have the same mileage as me, they're just a lot faster than me.  

So, that's where I'm at.  I know that sounded all 'down' and 'complainy', but I love my running group!  There are so few things in my life I'm willing to get up early for and that bring me so much energy and excitement and a sense of accomplishment, that it's totally worth it.  

I was so productive when I got home, too.  I was home before 8am, cleaned the house, vacuumed the car, baked some muffins and got a nap in before my husband woke up.  I love Saturdays!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Catch Up

Tuesday night's work out was brutal.  Hot, Hot, Hot!!  It was easily 95+ and humid as can be.  If I didn't join this group, there is NO WAY I would have been out there.  Overall, the run wasn't horrible.  We were all hydrated and stuck together.  We did 4 miles with one of the miles being a steady hill.  That was mile 2 and it was killer.  I'm just glad we got out there.  

I've been wearing my compression socks on my runs this week - they are fun lime green!  My legs have been a little sore, just kinda, so I figure I'd try that.  They feel a bit better - maybe it's all in my head, but I'm okay with that.  

We had friends over for a fun dinner/game night last night and it was a blast!  We haven't done that in a long time and it was so much fun!  After my husband made us some delicious fajitas, we played a new game, Anomia and an old fun one, Partini.  I highly recommend them!  They were so much fun!!
 Anomia is a fun card game that's quick and easy.  Not many rules to go over and everyone can play!
Partini is an old favorite that is similar to Cranium in that there are a variety of types of games to be played - sculpting with clay, acting out a scene, bouncing balls into cups, etc.  It's laid back and simple and no real direction reading necessary (can you see how important that is to me?!).  

With all that fun, I didn't get my 4 miler in yesterday :(  So, even though we were up way past my bed time, I headed out at 7am for my run.  It actually felt great!  It was way nicer than I had anticipated, only 70 degrees, which is awesome considering we've had 4 consecutive 100+ days in Michigan.  

As an update, I was SOOOO much better this week and didn't have ANY Pringles!  I did slip up today and have a bag of SunChips, but I'm okay with that.  Garden Salsa is so hard to resist!

I'm off to bed super early tonight since I'm incredibly exhausted from our busiest week at work and we moved our group run from 630am tomorrow up to 530am due to the extreme heat.  8 miles on the schedule and can't wait to put them behind me!  Nighty night!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have a problem

I'm addicted to Pringles!!

Exhibit A

I have no self control when it comes to Pringles!  I've tried and tried (well, not really) and they just find their way into my hands and then my mouth and then I only want more! 
The problem is that I'm surrounded by snacks.  This isn't new, it's been the case for 5 years now at work.  At first, I ate a little bit of everything but after the first year or so, I'm over it and can't stand the thought of a bite of any of it.  

This summer, we have Pringles for the first time (since Goldfish were out of stock) and it's the hardest part of my day not to eat them continuously. 

I can usually draw willpower from my assistant, but she wasn't around last week in the afternoon and I went crazy.  Crazy like 2 Pringles containers in one day!  At least it's not a huge tube of them, cause I would definitely take them down in a day!

This week, I'm working on more water and less Pringles.  I can do it!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sweatiest Day of My Life

Oh yeah, sweaty like crazy.  First, I sweated through my clothes working out in the yard pulling weeds and trimming bushes.  I hate doing this, but it really needed to get done.  I filled three yard bags in 2 hours!  Worked my butt off!   I came in and looked sweatier than after yesterday's 10 miler!  gross.

I was about to shower and wake my husband up to start our day, but I decided to finish the laundry first.  Before I knew it, he was getting up!  (He works nights, so I essentially keep myself busy waiting for him to wake up and play.)  

He suggested heading to the metropark to play par 3.  I've never golfed before other than putt-putt, but he's been begging for over a year, so I finally gave in.  Since it was 90+ degrees out and my clothes had dried from my morning sweatfest, I figured I wouldn't shower since I'm just going to get sweaty again :)  So, off we were.

After 2 hours of par 3 and a quick game of tennis, we were so sweaty and hot that we headed home.  We had planned to rollerblade a few miles, but it was too hot and we were exhausted.  

Once home, my plan was to shower and relax until meeting my local running buddy for a quick 3 miles.  I think you know where this might be going....

I started making some delicious chocolate chip cookies and hanging pictures and before I knew it, it was almost time to meet Rebecca.  Here I was dry again and time to head out the door.  Oh well, what's the point in showering before going out for a run?

I ran the half mile to our meeting point and we got a couple miles in.  It was a fun, quick, extra weekly run for us.  Before we knew it, it was time to split and head home.  

So for the third time today, I'm a sweaty mess - in the same clothes - and I promise I'm heading to the shower - as soon as Jerseylicious is over!

If you don't want to be my friend anymore, I totally understand.  It's just too funny/gross/weird and not really me not to share. 

Let's hope the calorie burn was huge for today!

Double Digit Run!

Yesterday I ran my first double digit run in my fall marathon training plan.  I haven't run that far at all since my April 30th half marathon and not that far on my own since my training for my Mar 20th half.  Yeah, I slacked off for my April half and only peaked at 8 miles - no wonder that race didn't go as well.

I tried something new for my pre-run fuel - a sweet potato.  Not only have I never eaten a sweet potato before, I've never strayed from a smoothie for breakfast before a run.  I was nervous and excited to try something new.  I went with the sweet potato first as my running group friend said that's what she ate before our 8 miler last weekend and it was perfect for her.  So why not try it?

Just 7 minutes in the microwave and it was ready.  Too hot to touch, but cooked and mushy.  I got up about 10 mins late, so I had to eat it in the car on the way to the group meeting place.  Not an ideal situation, but it worked ok.  I mashed it up into a bowl with a little butter and was on my way.

I liked the taste and consistency and when I arrived at the meeting spot 20 mins later, I felt ready to go.  My regular running partner from the class wasn't there this week, so I had a little anxiety going into my first 10 miler not knowing if anyone else was slow enough for me to run with. 
Here's the 11-14 min/mile group before heading out last week
We got started and I found my stride.  The big group stuck together for the first mile before we broke into smaller groups.  Luckily for me, two other ladies were just at my pace and we ran with each other for a while.  They were both really nice and have been running with the group for 2+ years, so they were able to share some knowledge with me.   

About 3 miles in, we picked up another friend into our group since her group was turning back for a 6 mile run.  Gina is 21 and training for her first marathon - the Detroit full, just like me.  It was nice to have another newbie around.

All 3 ladies in my little group were running 8 miles and I was the only one planning on 10, so once we got to the 4 mile marker, they were ready to turn around.  I was torn at that point since if I went on to the 5 mile marker and turned back for my 10 miler, I would run the last 6 solo.  So, I ended up turning around with them at the 4 miler marker.  This way, I had 3 friends to keep me going for the first 8 miles.

About 1/2 mile before the end of the 8, which ended back at our cars, I left the group and turned off course for my additional mileage.  It was the best decision I had made!  I know it's hard to tack on miles at the 'end', so I was sure not to stop when they did or get too close to my car :)  I ended up making up a new route around campus that I hadn't been to in a while.  It was really entertaining!

Of course, every turn I made came with another hill, but whatever, whats another hill or two after 8 miles?  Exhaustion, that's what!  I finished out my 10 miles and sprinted (the .1 mile) back to the store!  Even though the last two weren't fast, I've never been so proud to have stuck to my plan and finished them solo! 

I had some water, cooled down, chatted with the others just finished and headed home!  Overall, another GREAT run!  I LOVE RUNNING!!

Here's some sweaty pics from when I got home:
I wish you could tell how soaking wet my shirt was - that's a sign of a successful run to me!
The back of my shirt was soaked all the way through - that's never happened to me! Plus some super sweaty hair!
Here are my splits, cause I actually remembered to charge my garmin this time! 
Split Time Avg Pace Avg HR Calories
1 0:11:42 11:43 140 137
2 0:11:20 11:20 155 144
3 0:12:58 12:58 159 139
4 0:13:49 13:49 160 132
5 0:13:44 13:44 157 132
6 0:12:48 12:48 159 145
7 0:11:11 11:12 165 145
8 0:11:41 11:42 168 138
9 0:13:24 13:24 161 121
10 0:12:44 12:44 165 125
11 0:00:31 11:56 169 6
 Summary 2:05:57 12:32 159 1,364

After my photo-shoot and a huge glass of chocolate milk, I treated myself to these:
Nothing like good reading in an ice bath!  I can't think of a better way to start my Saturday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Busy Busy Bee

Summer is my extremely busy time at work.  I go from a very flexible schedule Sept-May and then hardcore intense schedule June-August.  I love love love what I do, but it hampers my social skills during these three months, as well as my blogging time.  Essentially, I work, I run and I sleep.

The good news is that I'm sticking to my training plan and haven't skipped a run!  I know how important it is to be consistent and I look forward to my weekly runs.  I find the time to carve out for all of my runs and really look forward to them.  This is new to me and I like it!

For example, I've been getting up really early (relative to me) all week for work and have been getting progressively tired throughout the week, hitting snooze more and more.  As I think of finally being able to sleep in on the weekend, I don't mind getting up and meeting my group for a 630am long run on Saturday; I'm still looking forward to it!

Our Tuesday group run was hill work.  We did a route new to me and I really liked it!  A mile out to this nature area, then a .6mile hill down and back up multiple times.  The hill is rocky/gravel/dirt and absolutely gorgeous!  The fact that it's so shady really helps, too :)

It's amazing, I went to school here for 4 years and never visited this location.  In college, I was nowhere near a runner, more like a professional eater and drinker.  My freshman 15 was more like 20+ and came each year!  I'm so glad now that I'm taking care of myself and becoming more active - it just feels better than any late night pizza ever tasted!

Our coach takes pics of us regularly, here's one of me on my second time up the hill:
When that shirtless guy passed me, it really helped me push it up the hill.  He's a solid 3+ minutes/mile faster than me, but that was the motivation I needed to get to the top.  I can't say enough how awesome running in a group is!  We had about 30 runners on Tuesday and passing each other up and down the hill multiple times was a lot of fun and we helped push each other - more like they helped push me, but I'm okay with that!

Here's a pic of my running partner from the class, Patty.  We happen to be just around the same pace and always find each other throughout the workouts.  She's so nice and training for her first half this fall.  
Doesn't she look so speedy in this pic?

I'm looking forward to my evening run tonight with my local running buddy..  I'm telling you, after beginning to run all by myself, then training for my first three half marathons solo, this group thing is awesome!  I LOVE it!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What a difference CONFIDENCE makes!

As my running friend pointed out at the end of yesterday's 8 miler, our run was so great because we were so much more CONFIDENT than we've ever been.  Instead of going out with the attitude of "who knows if I can do this" we went out there and rocked it out.  We were not in this frame of mind just three weeks ago.

It is amazing to feel this great about anything, especially running, and it's hard to put it into words.  We were so CONFIDENT that we could run the 8 miler and so PROUD when we finished.  We helped each other through, step by step, and it paid off in dividends.

Without getting to sappy, it's amazing what this does to our confidence both out there pounding the pavement and in real-life as well.  We can conquer anything!!

It's amazing to think that after our 8 miler yesterday, all of my long runs from now until the October marathon will be at least this long and I'm NOT worried about it at all.  No stress or worry!!

I'm so happy that I'm feeling better about running each and every day!

Thanks for your suggestions on pre-run fuel, I can't wait to try them the next few Saturdays :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

8.57 miles at 6:30am

I met my running group at 6:30 this morning, ready to complete the 8 on my schedule.  I had gotten to bed early, but was woken up at 4am with one of the worst nightmares I've ever had.  So bad you have to get out of bed, turn lights on and occupy your brain with something else before you can even think of going back to sleep.  It worried me that it would throw me off for my morning run.

With a protein/banana/spinach/blueberry/yogurt smoothie in hand, I was on the road just after 6am driving to the store where we meet.  We had about 35 runners this morning and coach sent the slower than 10min milers off first.  I found my running buddy Patty and we hit the road.  We started off slow, shaking out our legs a bit and found our groove in the first mile.  When we hit the first water stop at mile 2, it seemed to come so fast!

Three weeks ago on our first long run with the 501 class, this was our route.  Both Patty and I independently thought we were going to die and hated this 2 mile route.  I cut my planned 6 miler short that day and turned back for the 4.  She did the same and we met for the first time in the last half mile back to the store.  Today, those same two miles flew by and we relished in how much we've grown in just 3 weeks!!

Patty was planning on 6 today (and I 8) but once we hit mile 4 we both felt so good we kept going.  Shortly thereafter, Patty decided to push herself to do the 8 miles.  The conditions were perfect: cool temps, lots of shade, great route planned out for us with water every 2 miles, we each had a great breakfast - we couldn't have asked for more.

At the 5 mile marker Patty mentioned that we felt so good maybe we should go for 9 instead of 8.  I smiled and told her we'll see how we feel at 7, thinking on the inside she's crazy!  Just after mile 6 as we were heading out to the out-n-back for mile 7 we ran into our coach.  She looked at us like we were nuts!  

We explained we were going to hit the 7 mile marker and then instead of following the plan, just run back to the store and finish out our 8 miler.  She stopped us and made us turn around since if we did so, we would be at 10miles!  Apparently, the store was a lot further than we thought! 

So we turned around at that spot and finished up the last 2 miles of the run.  Good thing we ran into coach!  Patty and I both felt great the entire time and finished STRONG!  Stronger than any run this training plan! 

It was a great run and so motivating when we compare it to the same route just 3 weeks ago.  I can't say enough how great this group class is - it's really pushed me.  My last two long runs have been 6 miles and our Tuesday long run was 6 miles, so I was ready to hit the 8.  When I trained for my halfs (I know the plural of 'half' is 'halves' but that seems weird to me, so I go with 'halfs') on my own, I was always worried about my long runs if I could have the mental stamina to finish them without quitting.  Now, it doesn't even cross my mind.  

My only bummer of the day is that I forgot to charge my garmin and didn't realize it until I got to the store!  Idiot.  This would've been a great run to have data for, but I do have to say, even after only having it for a month or so, it was liberating just running free based only on how my body feels!!  When I got home, I maymyrun'ed it and we ran 8.58 miles!  Too bad I have no idea how much time we took :)

I need to work on pre-run fueling.  I don't think my smoothie is the best option as I had some gi issues after mile 5.  I've heard toast with pb, bagel, half banana, granola bar, Patty eats a sweet potato.  I'll try new things in the next few weeks.  I know it's different for everyone.

I'm heading out on my uncle's boat with my sister and her kids - it's going to be so fun!!

Do you have any suggestions on pre-long run/race fuel?  What works for you?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Crappy 6 miler and an Awesome 6 miler

This was a great weekend; we had friends in town for a wedding and bachelorette party.  Not only are they fun friends, but the girl is my running marathon buddy.  We've never run together as she lives in Chicago, but we're on the same training plan and she's planning on running the full with me in October.

After a fun night of debauchery for our friend's bachelorette party on Friday night, we opted to skip the 7am running group run on Saturday morning.  Good call as we got home after 3 am :)  it's just funny since we're all pushing 30 and haven't rocked it out like that since college.

So instead of the hot sweaty run on Saturday, we opted for Sunday morning.  Problem was, we never set a time and just waited for us to get up and figure it out.  This put us out the door at 11am.  85 degrees and humid as hell.  We had 6 on the schedule and headed out, leaving my husband sleeping and hers doing Yoga X.  

It only took 1.5 miles for me to get exhausted.  I was hot, sweaty and felt like crap.  There was no shade and I was dying.  My friend was so awesome and didn't push me too far as she's a much faster runner than I am, but I still was pooped.  I felt really bad stopping to walk, but passing out would have sucked even more.  

After a short walk break, we started going again for another mile or so until I started having cold sweats.  From here on out we ran and walked and cut our run short a bit to finish 5.5 miles.  This was by far the worst I've ever felt running, but it was great to have a friend there to pull me through.  I did point out that she had to walk with me since she didn't know how to get back to my house :)  

After that craptastic run that left me drained all day, I had an awesome 6 miler tonight with my 501 group!  I was almost late to the class which stresses me out like crazy, but I slid in the back door just in time.  We did an out-and-back to total 6 miles in 85+ degree heat.  I did a great job of starting slow and didn't rush myself like I had been doing in the group runs lately.

I found my two friends that I made last week and had a great run!  When I started slowing down and wanted to walk, they helped me through and kept me going.  When they wanted to walk a bit, I helped them push through.  Overall, it was great!  6 miles with stopping for water breaks only.  Awesome run!!

What I like the most is that at the end of the run, everyone was so friendly and chatty and positive, congratulating everyone.  It's like some huge support group and I love it.  It really helps me keep going and stick to my plan.  I had 4 on the plan today and never would have pushed it on my own without the group.  

What a difference two days make :)  I'm finally running out loud!!