Friday, September 30, 2011

First Treadmill Run

Today I got a text message from Mike while I was at work that said, "So I think I know what your answer's going to be, but what would you say about running on the treadmills tonight? I just wanna try it!!"

I responded, "OK. We can try it if you want".  He totally thought I was going to say no and I kinda wish I had, oh well it's over with now!

In my opinion, I think that most runners would come to this conclusion:

I really have to agree.  I've read that running on a treadmill is supposed to be easier than running outside, but man was I dying!  I didn't have the pace set much higher than what Mike and I normally do, in fact I was hovering around 10:00-10:30 minute pace most of the time, but I felt like I couldn't keep it up.  It's not like I was running up hills or anything either, my incline was at the lowest possible setting.  

I think one of the reasons that I was struggling so much was the fact that I had to pay more attention to not falling off the treadmill so I couldn't let my mind wander like I do while running outside.  Sometimes when Mike and I are going at a sub 10:00 minute pace, I will close my eyes for a few seconds to help me get through the tougher parts.  I couldn't do that on the treadmill because I probably would have fallen off!  

Most of the time I had one hand holding onto the handle bar.  I'm pretty sure this isn't normal and this thought was further confirmed when I didn't see anyone else doing it!  The last few minutes I was going a 9:40 pace but Mike and I have successfully done that while running outside.  

Then there was the sweat.  I honestly didn't think that either of us could sweat that much.  Isn't it supposed to be cooler with the AC?  I guess not this time of year.  Next time we will bring Nuun with us!

I wish we lived in an area where we didn't have to run on a treadmill but when the weather is going to look like this pretty soon, it is inevitable.  

Hello, Western New York

Overall, the experience wasn't that bad but I wish the 5 miles went by faster.  I also didn't like that my treadmill didn't give me my average pace at the end of the run.  My total time was around 51 minutes so I can estimate what my average pace was at least.    

I'm hoping that we won't have to use treadmills too often this winter.  We will use the indoor track when we can and also run outside when the weather and road conditions allow it.  Cold weather running gear is going to be necessary pretty soon!

What's your opinion of treadmills, do you love them, hate them or are you indifferent? 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Want to Run Faster

First, tonight's run:

Lap 1 - 10:24 pace
Lap 2 - 10:39 pace
Lap 3 - 10:25 pace

Total Time: 31:27
Average Pace: 10:29 minutes per mile

Much better than yesterday's run!  Even though when we finished I definitely had to blow my nose, but overall I am feeling a lot better.  We just ran near the house and throughout the entire run I was focusing on keep my feet light and running more naturally.  I wear Nike Free Run 2 and have been working on striking my forefoot rather than striking my heel.  I think that I am finally recovering from some ankle and foot pain, luckily the pain only happens when I am walking not running!

Last night Mike and I were talking about what we were going to do after our half marathon on October 23 (only 24 days away!) and we had decided that we would continue to do a similar training plan as what we are doing now.  The entire time that we have been running we have followed a plan and I think that both of us don't want to just run.  I need structure in my life and I think having a plan has been beneficial to us, even if we don't have a race to train for. 

This is the plan that we are thinking about using next:

It's hard to see, I know, but do you notice something?  Speed work.  Mike and I haven't done any speed or track work yet because as beginners we thought it would be more beneficial to just focus on building up our stamina and mileage.  Since we are progressing really well, we figured that after our half marathon we should probably work on speed.

I really want to get faster.  I'm pleased with our progress and Mike is pretty speedy, but I know that I can do better.  I want to be one of those runners who can consistently bust out an 8:30 pace in longer races and training runs. 

I know that I can do it but I think I still get scared that I am going to crash and burn if I try to push it just a little bit.  Hopefully doing little bursts of speed will help me get used to going at a faster pace.  I'm excited to give it a try!

Do you always have to follow a training plan or can you just go out and run? 

All You Need is Some Perseverance

Just a quick post.  If you need a reminder that you can get through anything with some perseverance then watch this video that I found on another runner's blog.  I needed it myself when some stuff (that's better left off the blog) came up yesterday, but I know that Mike and I will get through it!

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Yell at Me While I'm Running

Or honk your horn, catcall or "woo" at me while you're at it either.  Especially when my husband is only a few feet away from me.  Even if he wasn't, don't do it.

I'm sure that many women out there can relate to this and I just don't understand it.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes a little cheering is great, like the time one of my coworkers yelled out "good job guys" to Mike and I while we were running near my place of employment.  At first I wasn't sure if it was her or not but either way that type of yelling made me feel good.

During our short running career, I have had numerous guys yell, honk or whistle at me while I am running.  Again, with Mike RIGHT there.  Most of the time I will yell back at them, which sometimes gets me in trouble, or on the rare occasion, like this morning, I will ignore them.  Those guys were lucky I didn't feel well.  

One time, Mike and I had this girl yell out at us, with a cop car right behind her mind you, "run, Forrest, run".  I was not pleased.

Am I too sensitive?  Probably, I am a Pisces after all, but really is that necessary?

We've had other people say unnecessary comments to us while we are running, like a few weeks ago when we had our awesome run someone said "feel the burn" as we ran by him and his friends on the very little sidewalk space that they gave us.  Middle-school-aged kids have even yelled at us while running!

I know that it isn't going to stop, someone will always feel that, for whatever reason, it is necessary to yell, honk or whistle at women while they run.  I hope that if there are any men, other than Mike, who read this blog that you take what I have said into consideration.  If you really want to yell at me while I am running, maybe try "good job!" next time.  If not, just keep on driving by.

In other news, this morning's run was pretty uneventful.

I didn't feel well and it hit me hard after the first mile.  Our splits were basically 10:50, 11:06, 11:50, 12:06, 12:00 (just approximations and going off of memory) and our total time was about 57 minutes.  Not too bad for a 5 mile run, but I know that we could have done better.

I kept telling Mike to just keep going and as long as I could see him I would be fine.  He didn't really listen to me, which I appreciate, but I feel bad for slowing him down.  I hope that our 3 mile run tomorrow goes better.  I want to start consistently running sub 10 minute miles pretty soon and this cold is preventing me from doing that!

Now, am I overreacting or is it really annoying when people yell, honk or whistle at you while you are running (or walking, biking, etc.)?  Do you yell back at them or do you have more class than me and ignore them?

P.S. Still looking for some teammates for the Seneca7.. pretty please.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seven Things Tuesday: A Cold and Fall Television

Even though I didn't get very many responses to last week's "Seven Things Tuesday", I liked it so I am going to keep doing it!

This week's seven things (in no particular order):

New Running Capris

Over the weekend Mike and I went to Old Navy so that I could buy some shoes for work.  While we were there we noticed they were having a sale for "buy one, get one 75% off" and you could mix and match items.  Mike told me to look for something else and I found these new capris and I'm excited to wear them on an upcoming run!

Fall Television

Over the last week the fall television schedules started!  Some of the shows that Mike and I are watching or DVRing are Mike & Molly, 2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, The Big Bang Theory and Up All Night.  Of course the Yankees and football games are mixed in there too.   

Recovering From my Cold

In my race report for our 5 mile race on Saturday, I alluded to the fact that I thought I was coming down with a cold.  Well, I did.  So these two things have been my friends over the weekend and the beginning of this week.  

Help me feel better!

Don't mock the gummy vitamins, they're good!  Plus, I used to take Flintstones vitamins and by used to I mean earlier this year.  

I'm starting to feel better so hopefully tomorrow I will be almost 100% back to normal.

Breakfast for Dinner

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner.  This isn't something that we do too often but it was tasty!  We had some turkey bacon (I only eat chicken and turkey) and waffles with cinnamon apple syrup from Schutt's Apple Mill.  Mike said that it would have been good with some vanilla ice cream on top and I have to agree!

Bernie's New Toy

After the race on Saturday we walked around the festival with our dog, Bernie.  There were quite a few vendor tables set up and Bernie got a lot of free stuff!  I can't wait to give him some of the treats that were being handed out.  We did end up buying him a new toy because the seller said that it was practically indestructible (we'll see about that).  Bernie is a tough chewer and has destroyed some toys in his short life.  So far this one has held up. 

This looks interesting

I hope that "Hurley" will remain in one piece for awhile!

Our Run Tonight

Was postponed until tomorrow.  Our schedules work out better the rest of the week and I figured taking another day off so that I can really kick this cold to the curb wouldn't be a bad idea.  We are going to knock out 5 miles tomorrow morning before work, though!

A Plea for Teammates (again)

Yesterday I mentioned how I really, really, really want to do this race.  

Today is no different, I'm still dying to do this race.  We have one person interested if we can get 4 other people to commit.  What could be better than 77.7 miles with 7 runners at 7am?  Not very much, in my opinion.  If you agree, join our team!

What were your seven things today?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teammates Needed for a Unique Experience

Because I really, really, really (did I say really) want to run this race!

This 77.7 mile relay race seems like it would be so much fun!  I just happened to find it while browsing races for the 2012 season even though there aren't that many advertised yet.
After following numerous bloggers' experiences at the Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon (which is on my Wish List), I have the relay "itch".  I don't think that I will be able to make it to Oregon for Hood to Coast anytime soon, so why not start smaller and relatively local?

Fun Fact:  The Hood to Coast dvd is on our Netflix list (which I guess is soon going to be Qwikster) and I can't wait until it is no longer "saved" and on our queue! 

Now here's my plea: we need teammates if this is actually going to happen.  I'm not sure if I have Mike completely convinced or not (I just found this race last night) but I'm sure he would be game!  Each team needs to have 7 teammates (they really took hold of the "7" theme and "ran" with it), which means that we need 5 more teammates.  

Now who would the ideal teammate be?  Someone who loves running, loves spending time with other people who love running and wants to have a good time while doing it!  Gender, speed and anything else doesn't matter to us as long as we finish by the cutoff time.  

The other logistics, transportation to exchange points, what legs we would run, what our team outfit (there HAS to be a coordinated outfit) would be, team name, etc. would be figured out later.  

According to the website, registration for next year opens on October 31, 2011 and early registration ends on December 31, 2011.  For many reasons I would not want to let the early registration date slip by us so hopefully people will let me know if they are interested soon!

It also says that it is open to 400 teams, but by checking out the last year's participant list only 75 teams raced so we should have no problems registering.

If you are definitely game, let me know!  Contact me any way you know how or leave a comment on this blog post.  If more than 5 people want to join our team, we could always make a second team if enough people are interested. 

The big question:  Who wants to race around Seneca Lake and have a great time while doing it?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest 5 Mile Race Report

Yesterday Mike and I ran in our fourth race!

The extra rest day, slow run on Thursday and ice bath worked because my legs didn't bother me during the race at all!  But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's start from the beginning.

During the summer I started to research races a lot (obsessively) and I came across Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest 5 mile race.  The distance is unique, there aren't that many 5 mile races, but Lollypop Farm helped us adopt two of our pets so of course we had to participate!  Plus, as this video shows, the festival is fun for everyone.

I didn't sleep well the night before the race but I wasn't worried since I had slept well on Thursday night.  Unfortunately, I woke up with a sore throat and I now think I am getting sick.  I'm doing everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen, though!

The race was scheduled to start at 8:30am but we had to arrive early because we brought our dog, Bernie, with us!  Bernie was going to be watched by a "barking lot" attendant while we raced and we weren't exactly sure where they were located.  After asking a few people, we finally found the barking lot attendants and dropped Bernie off so that we could stretch and warm-up.

During our warm-up run, I actually felt my knee start to bother me.  I tried stretching it out as best I could and just hoped that once we got going that it would go away.

After waiting for a little while (I think they were having some problems setting up the timing system), we were finally able to line up.  The funniest thing, for me anyway, was when the lady yelled "GO" and you could hear everyone's watches "beep".  Mike was wearing our Garmin watch and I was wearing our regular stop watch.

The course was a 5 mile loop in the town of Perinton.

I knew from the beginning that I would be running alone the entire race.  Mike really wanted to run the 5 miles in 45 minutes or less and that is a little bit out of my reach right now.  The first mile went by quickly and I fell into a good pace.  I was actually following these two guys wearing green shirts that said "Rochester ATM" on the back for awhile.  One nice thing was that at the first mile a guy was yelling out the time and my split was around 9:28.  

The first water stop was shortly after we got onto Pannell Road, probably around 1.5 miles or so.  I tried to drink some water, but I have a difficult time running and drinking (out of a cup anyway) at the same time.  Right after the first water stop was when the hills started.  I knew that I didn't want to walk so I just focused on conquering the hills.  I'm sure that my pace got slower and slower with each step but I didn't care.  The first two hills weren't too bad and I finally got to Daily Road.

I knew that there was going to be a portion of the race that was an "out and back" and I welcomed that in this race.  This was the only time that I was able to see Mike and we cheered for each other as we ran on opposite sides of the road.  

At the end of the turnaround, I knew that I had less than two miles left.  What I didn't know was that there was going to be an even bigger hill waiting for me on Victor Road.  Again, I just put all of my energy into conquering the hill without worrying about how fast I was going.  

One of the last volunteers near mile 4 yelled out that we just had a downhill left and then we would be at the finish line.  I knew by looking at the time on the watch that I was coming in around 10:00 to 11:00 minutes per mile and I gave it all I could to get to my A goal of 50 minutes or less.  

When that goal passed by me, I knew that I didn't want to have a time slower than 52:00 minutes.  I even passed a guy in the last quarter of a mile and rounded the corner to the finish line.  The best thing was seeing Mike standing with Bernie cheering me on.  I crossed the finish line and finished in 51:29.7.  

Overall I am proud of my time (and the fact that I ran the entire time), but I wish that I had gone a little faster to get a 50:xx time.  I guess we will just have to run in another 5 mile race to make that happen! 

Mike went 43:34.9, he crushed his goal!  I was really proud of him.  We later found out that he came in fourth in his age group, he just missed getting an age group award!

After we stretched, refueled (thank you free bagels and soyjoy bars) and changed our clothes, we walked around the festival with Bernie.    

 Someone was thirsty

 Dogs everywhere!

You are the biggest dog I have ever seen

Hello beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernie is happy, Barktober Fest is a success!

When we had checked out all of the vendors, we headed home.  We later had Moe's for lunch and went to Schutt's Apple Mill to pick up some apple cider, donuts and apple frosts.  Apple frosts are vanilla soft serve ice cream mix and apple cider, so good!

Overall it was a successful day and I can't wait to race again in a few weeks!

How were your weekend runs?  If you raced, how did you do?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ten Ugly Men Festival 10K Race Report

While doing Couch-to-5K, Mike and I knew that we wanted to do more than just run for half an hour at a time.  I had found another running program called Bridge-to-10K and I thought that we should give it a try, why not right?

The beginning of the program felt like a step back from where we were, even though we were running for 10 additional minutes.  I think that the idea of having to do intervals again made it seem like we regressed rather than progressed.  It only felt like this for the first week though!

When we started the training program, I wasn't sure if I would be able to find a 10K that would coincide with our "graduation" date.  For some reason, I'm not really sure why, the 10K distance is not as popular as other distances.  It is also not a race that is offered as often as other distances, which could be the result of it not being as popular.  Or is it the other way around?  It's similar to the chicken and the egg, which came first?

I happened to find a 10K race one day while browsing races in the Rochester area.  The Ten Ugly Men Festival is an annual event that raises money for various charities.  The date of the race actually fell on the same day as our graduation from B210K!  In the end we had to tweak our schedule and the race fell on our second to last day of the program.

Since our second 5K was extremely hot, I obsessively checked the forecast for our 10K race.  I guess the weather wasn't meant to be because on that day it was a little bit hotter than our July 4th race! 

Regardless we toed the line at 9:30am (way too late in my opinion for how hot it was) and were ready to run 6.2 miles!  The race course was in Genesee Valley Park and it was really beautiful, even though at the time I didn't take it all in. 

Mike and I only ran together for about a mile, once we hit the bike path he took off.  I was really not looking forward to running 5.2 miles by myself and I was already really thirsty.  We had been told that there would be a water stop at the first mile but it was a little bit after that and the added distance was not helping me out mentally.

The entire race I thought that I was practically in last place.  Turns out that I wasn't but that was another mental block that I was dealing with.  Place doesn't matter, but to me coming in last would have been devastating. 

I'm not sure what was going on in Mike's head during the race but I think he was dealing with everything better than me. 

There he is in the white shorts

I really didn't want to stop and walk during the race.  I made it to the 5K mark and I just couldn't handle the heat anymore.  For the rest of the race I probably walked about ten times (it felt like more than that).  I was really mad at myself but I just kept pushing to finish the race.

One major issue during the race was that I had NO idea how long I had been running.  Mike was wearing our stop watch and I felt like I had been going for an hour and a half.  When I finally approached the end of the race and saw Mike he told me that I was going to beat my goal of 1:15.  

I crossed the finish line in 1:11:34 and came in faster than 19 people.  Mike's time was 1:01:20, he really thought he could get a sub 1:00 time.  

After the race we got some free food from the festival and then went home to relax.  I have since beat my 10K time twice unofficially.  Next time we do a 10K I hope that it isn't 85 degrees outside!  

After the race, we ran one more time to complete the B210K program.  

The proof

5 Mile Race Plan

First of all I want to give a big HURRAY, since no luck is needed for this girl, to Ali because tomorrow she will be running in her first marathon.  I L-O-V-E her blog and even ordered one of her I <3 Sweat shirts because she is that awesome!  I can't wait for it to arrive and if it gets here in time for our half marathon then that is going to be my shirt of choice for the day.  Go take a look at Ali's blog and see everything that she has accomplished during her training.

As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow we are running in Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest 5 mile run. 

I'm really excited and I can't wait to support the organization where we got one of our cats, Teagan, and our dog, Bernie. 

 The Bern


The weather forecast has me really excited too!

Lovely temperature!

The rain won't bother me and I would much rather have rain than hot, scorching sun beating down on me.  I think that a t-shirt and shorts will be the best bet for tomorrow.  I could wear my capris, though.  Either way I am excited to run a race in my temperature of choice, especially since our last two races were NOT preferable temperatures.

In the three races that we have done so far, I really didn't have a plan.  For our first race, I just wanted to finish and run the entire 5K.  Mission Accomplished!  Our second race, another 5K, I had really wanted to go 30 minutes or less, but I would have been happy with just a better time.  In the end, I didn't go 30 minutes or less but I did get a PR.  Unfortunately, I had to walk a little bit but considering the race conditions I was fine with that.  

Our third race (race report coming tonight), was a 10K.  I had read somewhere (I can't remember where at the moment) that a good time for a 10K is approximately double the time of your 5K plus 10 minutes.  I'm not sure how accurate this is, especially since I have done faster than that.  Since it was really hot that day I wanted to do the 10K in 1:15.  I knew that I was going to struggle in the heat and I didn't want to be disappointed in my time so I picked something that I felt I could accomplish.  My time ended up being 1:11.34.

With three races under my belt, I figured this time I should try to set A, B and C goals for the race tomorrow.  I've seen other runners use this approach and I thought that it would work for me this time.  Of course your A, B and C goals all need to be something that you will be happy with. 

Using the McMillan Running Calculator, that another sweaty gal recommends, I calculated what my 5 mile race time should be by using my fastest (unofficial) 5K time

According to this I should be able to do a 5 mile run in 51:24 at a 10:16 minute per mile pace.  While talking with Mike, I told him that my A goal is to do it in 50 minutes or less, so I guess 51:24 is pretty close! (Plus, check out that half marathon time, my goal is to go under 2:30 so it is possible!)

My B Goal is to do it in 55 minutes or less and my C Goal (if I totally hit a wall) is an hour or less. 

Mike has plans to try to do it in 45 minutes or less and I put his best 5K time into the calculator and it said he should be able to do it in about 47 minutes, so hopefully he will meet his goal!

How do you set your goals for races?  Do you set one goal or multiple goal times, just in case?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Party in the bathtub

I have been feeling extra sore since our 7 mile run last weekend, even with taking yesterday off.  I thought I would follow Ali's lead and try an ice bath after our run tonight. 

We stopped at Rite Aid to pick up three bags of ice on our way home.  The store associate asked us if we were having a party and Mike said that I was going to have an ice bath.  On our way to the car I said to Mike that I was going to have a party, in the bathtub! 

When we got home, I got right to it.  I took Ali's advice and got into the cold water first. 

  This isn't too bad...

Mike helped put the ice in the bathtub for me.   He made sure not to hit me with the huge chunks of ice!

  This water is getting colder... 


 All of this for the love of running

I'm not sure how long I sat in the bathtub, probably about ten to fifteen minutes.  Once the water started to drain out of the bathtub, I took that as a clue that I could get out!  Overall the experience wasn't bad, but I'm not sure how often I will have ice baths.  I'm all for trying anything at least once! 

Another motivating factor for trying the ice bath was our upcoming race on Saturday.  I want to make sure that my legs feel fresh on race day.  We are running in Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest 5 mile race and we are really excited about it!  

We got one of our cats and our dog from Lollypop so it will be nice to support the organization.  Bernie, our dog, is coming with us and will be watched by a "barking lot" attendant while we race.  After we will take part in the festival with him, I'm sure we will have lots of pictures!

Our run tonight was slow because of the upcoming race and the soreness I have been experiencing.  We did 4.5 miles and it was getting dark after about two and a half miles.  All of our splits, except the first mile, were above 11 minute mile pace.  I wasn't too worried about that because we had intended to take it slow.  Hopefully the extra rest day, slow run and ice bath will make it so that we have a great race on Saturday.
Have you ever had an ice bath?  If not, would you?  What other crazy things have you done for running?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sodus Bay Lighthouse 5K Race Report

As soon as Mike and I got home from our first ever 5K (not counting cross country my freshman year of high school), I got on the computer and looked at some other races in the Rochester area.

What I saw was the perfect race for us, it combined running and one of our other loves, lighthouses.

This lighthouse is the main feature of TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K

We have seen close to 75 lighthouses, yes, we are a little obsessed!  So when I saw the Sodus Bay Lighthouse 5K I knew that we had to register.  We actually printed out the registration forms that day and dropped them in the mail, I guess we were excited.  

The race was exactly a month after the RSD River Ramble and at that time we were on the third or fourth week of the Bridge-to-10K running program.  Since we ran our first race without stopping, I had high hopes of doing the same for this race.

On this particular Independence Day, I remember it being really HOT.  I was a little nervous about this because I do not run well in the extreme heat.  I tried to take my mind off of it while Mike and I stretched.  We also decided to do a very short warm up run from our car to the starting line of the race.  The one thing I don't like about races is the cold start.  Mike and I still walk a little bit before we get going and I am always worried that I am not going to be warmed up enough.  

After some last minute registrations, we all got ready to start the race.  At the sound of a cop car's siren, we were off!  Unlike our first race, this was not a complete out and back course.  

Mike and I only ran together until the fire department on Bay Road.  At that point there had been a pretty decent sized downhill and he later told me that it just carried him away.  I was a little upset that we weren't running together but there wasn't anything I could do about it.  

I was already really hot by the time I made it to the first water stop.  It was probably around 85 degrees out and there were barely any clouds in the sky.  I just focused on putting one foot in front other the other.  

There I am #46

Mike says that he saw me during the loop portion of the race, but I didn't notice him.  There were a few people cheering us on and saying thank you for supporting the lighthouse.  I remember that a lot of people were walking and I just tried to pass them.  

I had no idea how long I had been running because Mike was wearing our stop watch (no Garmin at that time).  Luckily, the second water stop finally appeared and I had never been so happy to get two drops of water out of a paper cup.  One complaint about this race was the water stops, there weren't enough of them!  If it wasn't extremely hot outside I could have managed a 5K with just two stops, but I was dying.  The other complaint was that there weren't any mile markers so I had no idea how much I had left.  

I finally saw Mike when I approached the parking lot.  At this point I was so hot that I had to stop and walk a few steps.  I got going again and didn't stop and walk again until the hill at the end of the course.  I'm not sure who thinks it is a good idea to put a hill at the end of a race, but I'm not a fan. 

Mike cheered me on to the end and I crossed the finish line in 31:44, faster than my previous time!  Mike's time was 28:30!  Using a pace calculator I figured out that my average pace was 10:12 and Mike's was 9:10. 

I've since beat my official 5K time and "raced" to a 31:01 finish.  I really can't wait to race a 5K again to see what I am made of, especially since we have had some sub 10:00 minute miles in longer training runs.  We are thinking about doing the Cardiac Classic on Thanksgiving and if we do I'm hoping for a sub 30 minute 5K!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Seven things Tuesday

Today is a very important and special day.  On September 20, 2004 Mike and I met, that's right we met.  Since we started spending almost every second together right away that's the day we say is our anniversary.  Today marks seven years together (we've been married for a little over one year) and we have gone through a lot together.  I can quite honestly say that without him I would not have made it through a lot of things that have come my way over those seven years and I hope he would say the same thing.  I'm pretty confident he would.

In honor of those seven years I wanted to do a "seven things Tuesday" and if people like it then I can continue it every week.  The seven things may not always be running or training related, but the majority most likely will! 

Our Anniversary

 We look like babies and, yes, I was blonde back then!

Mike and I already celebrated our anniversary on Sunday by going out for wood fired pizza and having some blueberry wine from Maine at home.  Today is still special because I can look back on everything that we have accomplished in seven years.  We have lived in an apartment and then bought a house a little over two years ago.  We have had three birds, two cats and one dog.  Combined, we have received four college degrees.  We swam together and now are running together.  We got married.  Most importantly we have celebrated our successes, comforted each other during hard and sad times and have been a constant source of support and love for each other.  I love you Mike!

The Stick

 Demonstrating its awesomeness

I am now the proud new owner of "The Stick"!  Last night I used it for the first time and it felt amazing!  It did hurt a little bit in really sore areas but in general it made my legs feel a whole lot better.  When I bought it yesterday, I asked the store associate at Eastern Mountain Sports if they had The Stick.  She asked if it was the "toothbrush for your muscles" and I said yes.  Turns out it does say that on the packaging!  She said that it looked like a bunch of marshmallows on a stick, haha. 

Born to Run

 This is obviously where and how I read...

Today I started reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and I am loving every word!  I've only read about 50 pages but it is a very engaging book and I think it is only going to get better.  I can't wait to learn more about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and how they run ultras on a constant basis.  

Long Breaks in between Work Shifts

This handsome guy was happy to see me

I've mentioned a few times how I was supposed to take classes for my second Masters degree, but decided to defer for a year.  I didn't make the decision until after my work shift was scheduled around those classes.  This means that I have a four hour break where I am not "on the clock".  The last two weeks Mike and I have been able to run, but today he had to work.  I took advantage of the long break and went home.  I was able to take our dog, Bernie, on a walk and start writing this post.  It was nice to be able to relax!

Registering for Races

Today Mike and I registered for another race!  You can check out our entire race schedule on the Upcoming Races page.  We are finally registered for the Run for Hospice 10 Mile Race and I'm excited but nervous at the same time.  It worked out that this race fell on the same day that we have to do a 10 mile training run.  We will probably race it rather than use it as a training run, but we'll see how we feel at that point.  Either way, yay for another race!    

Future Plans

I have been seriously considering our first marathon, which is crazy since we haven't even finished our half yet.  The Wineglass Marathon in Corning, New York seems like the perfect marathon for first timers.  Registration starts in December, according to the website, so we need to start talking about our plans asap.  I would really like to run a marathon next year and October seems like the perfect month, not too hot and not too cold.  I will keep you all updated on our decision!

Our Daily Run 

Tonight we just ran near our house.  We did another 4.5 mile run and in the beginning I was optimistic about holding sub 10:00 minute miles the whole time.  We didn't.  I was a little upset because I felt like we were going so much faster than the Garmin said.  I am confident that we will do it sometime soon!

Lap 1 - 9:56 pace
Lap 2 - 10:00 pace
Lap 3 - 10:24 pace
Lap 4 - 10:49 pace
Lap 5 (.5) - 10:40 pace

Total Time: 46:28.68
Average Pace: 10:20 minutes per mile

What were your seven things today?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our longest run to date

We did it!

We ran 7 miles today and even though I was tired at the end of it, I was so proud of us.  We haven't even been running for 6 months yet and we just ran farther than a 10K distance, to say that is a big accomplishment is an understatement.  I have actually been nervous about completing our half marathon because, until today, we hadn't run farther than a 10K.  When we finished today, I was no longer worried.  We are going to run across the finish line in Rhinebeck, New York in 35 days.   

Greece Canal Park was the starting point of our run and from there we ran the majority on the Canal Path. 

The details:

Lap 1 - 10:56 pace
Lap 2 - 10:43 pace
Lap 3 - 11:06 pace
Lap 4 - 10:52 pace
Lap 5 - 9:42 pace
Lap 6 - 9:44 pace
Lap 7 - 9:54 pace

Total Time: 1:12.58
Average Pace: 10:25 minutes per mile

A-MA-ZING, is pretty much how I can sum up this run.  Seriously.  Except for once (and we had a good reason) all of our splits were under an 11 minute per mile pace.  Plus, check out those last three miles: 9:42, 9:44, 9:54.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

The first few miles were pretty normal and uneventful.  I did wear our hydration belt so I made sure that the first couple of miles I took a few sips of delicious Nuun.  Since 7 miles, in my opinion, is pretty long I kept telling myself to just get to the half way point and then I would be fine. 

Unfortunately, around mile 3 we missed a turn that would have had us cross the canal on a footbridge.  Instead, we ended up running through a narrow trail blazed path.  We just kept going because we were going to turn around at 3.5 miles anyway but the path ended at a business park.  We ran around the parking lot and decided to just turn around but then we couldn't find the path!  This is when we had to stop and walk (Garmin paused) until we found our way again.

The rest of the run went by quickly, maybe because we were running faster, and we left the Canal Path to run on the road back to Greece Canal Park's entrance.  We still had about a mile left so we ran through the park a little bit more.  I knew that we were going pretty fast so when I heard the Garmin "beep" at mile 6, I told Mike to pay attention to our 10K time. It was around 1:05, faster than my last unofficial 10K time by three minutes!

The last .10 of a mile felt like it was dragging on and on forever, but we were finally done!

 Salty, tired and HAPPY!

I can't wait to see what else we can do!  But for right now I am looking forward to relaxing and spending time with Mike.  We are celebrating our 7 year dating anniversary (really it's on Tuesday) by going out for some wood fired pizza, just what we need after running 7 miles.  

How were your weekend runs?  Any milestones?    

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And I'm Feeling Good

Last night was one of our BEST training runs since we have started running.  I felt good, I felt strong and I felt like I could have kept going for at least a 10K, maybe more.   

The weather is truly doing wonders for my running, it is so much more enjoyable when you don't have the scorching sun beating on your back and face.  However, I do have to say I could have done without stopping at a few crosswalks because we had to wait for the pedestrian walk signal.  

We used to jog in place while waiting for the signal to change to the "white dude" (yes, I call it that while I am angrily waiting), but now we just stand there and wait.  Mike pushes the button about 100 times before it actually changes over.  Last night we had to stop twice.  Of course at these times Mike stopped the Garmin.  I figure if we were in a race we wouldn't be stopping, for that reason anyway. 

Here are our stats:

Lap 1 - 10:18 pace
Lap 2 - 10:11 pace
Lap 3 - 10:21 pace
Lap 4 - 10:06 pace
Lap 5 (.5) - 9:43 pace

Total Time: 45:48.64
Average Pace: 10:11 minutes per mile

When we did our best 4 mile run we had the same pace, so I am really pleased considering we went an extra half mile.  The 9:43 pace actually felt good, so I am hoping that we can start to get the majority of our runs at that pace instead of just the last mile or half mile.  

At the end of our run we had such a good pace and rhythm going that we started to dodge traffic and avoided stop lights.  The pedestrian walk signals were spared from any further angry glares (until we meet again walk signal).  

Today we went to the gym.  Since we want to become "Ironmen", I figured that using the stationary bike would be a good way to cross train.  We were supposed to cross train for 50 minutes, but we ended up doing a little over a half an hour.  

15 miles!  Not bad for our first time using the bikes in awhile.  We would have only needed 97 more miles to get to the Ironman distance!

We also did some strength training and focused on our arms.  We took it easy so that we wouldn't be too sore because tomorrow we are running 7 miles!  Our longest training run to date, I hope that we have just as good of a run as yesterday.

Do you jog in place at crosswalks or do you give the walk signal an angry stare until the "white dude" appears?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Iron(wo)man Mom!

Here we are at my Masters Graduation

Today is my mom's birthday!

She is a runner.  

Has my mom run a 5K? No.  Has she run a 10K? No.  Has she run a marathon? No.

Well, not in the sense that most people would classify running a 5K or a 10K.  She runs just to run.  That's right my mom has never run in a race (even though we are hoping that will change in the spring), she doesn't run with a team or running buddies and, as she said herself, she doesn't do anything special for running, she just runs.  

Yet, she is fast.  Faster than me and Mike.  She runs 9 miles in the amount of time that it takes us to run 6 miles.  She just recently purchased a Garmin watch because Mike and I (and Mike's mom) were using one while we were visiting my parents in Maine this summer.  I think she is hooked on that.  (I'm hoping she is going to get hooked on Nuun too!) 

My mom reminds me that running isn't about racing, it is about loving what you are doing.  If there ever came a time where we couldn't afford to pay for races, compression socks and, yes, even Nuun, I know that we would be alright because that is what my mom does. 

I'm hoping that we will be able to get her to run in a few races, though.
If not, I would still consider my mom the most amazing runner I know.  She is a runner in the purest sense of the word, which is pretty hard to come by!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY mom!  Keep on running!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Too hot to handle

Yesterday Mike and I were able to take advantage of my four hour break again and run our 4.5 miles.  The only problem?  My break is from noon to 4pm and it was H-O-T yesterday.  I had to leave for work at 7am and I grabbed a black running shirt, while in the back of my mind thinking a white shirt might be better.  A white shirt definitely would have been better.  The lesson from this:  always follow your gut instinct!

Mike and I headed out anyway around 12:30pm and started our run.

Our route was something like this (we ran through some parking lots at the end to get up to 4.5 miles, but I couldn't add that on Google Maps).

Our 4.5 mile route (minus about .3 of it)

Overall it wasn't too bad, there were a few hills but they were conquerable.  

Here are our splits:

Lap 1 - 10:32 pace
Lap 2 - 11:22 pace
Lap 3 - 11:03 pace
Lap 4 - 11:20 pace
Lap 5 (.5) - 11:15 pace

Total Time: 49:54.52
Average Pace: 11:05 minutes per mile

I would say that isn't too shabby for an extremely hot run.  There was almost no shade, except for on Bailey Road (but even then it was more of a tease than anything).  As I mentioned, I wore a black shirt.  Not a good idea.  I went as far as I could and then I just couldn't handle it anymore, the shirt had to come off.  UGH.  I am not a fan of just running in a sports bra, but at that point all I was thinking of was survival.  Ironically, as soon as I said "I can't handle this anymore" and started to take my shirt off, our Garmin beeped for the first mile.

I'm just glad that I didn't see anyone that I know, especially since we were so close to where I work!

The only other thing that happened on this run was a smelly encounter with a dead opossum.  That was not something that I wanted to be dealing with during the last half mile and I don't think that the heat helped either.  Dry heaving while running isn't fun, the smell was seriously that bad! 

Tonight Mike and I ran 3 miles near our house.  It wasn't our best but we did it!

Lap 1 - 11:04 pace
Lap 2 - 10:54 pace
Lap 3 - 10:53 pace

Total Time: 32:51
Average Pace: 10:57 minutes per mile

Negative splitting with each mile faster than the previous works for me!  I was so sore during this run, my legs were really tight and it was hard to get a good rhythm going.  There are a few products that I am contemplating purchasing to help with my recovery after especially long or hard runs, I really don't think that just stretching is working for me. 

The first is the "The Stick":

This is supposed to help massage and stretch sore muscles, which will ultimately help prevent injury.  There are quite a few varieties available from the marathon stick (shown above), the travel stick, the original body stick, etc.  

Next if The Stick doesn't work, a foam roller might do the trick:

There are different foam rollers, some are softer and others are firmer.  These are supposed to provide deep tissue massages and can target different problem areas.  

Finally, I am DEFINITELY getting some of these:

Compression socks!  These provide more oxygen to your legs and help them recover even faster after long and intense training runs and races.  I would wear these to work after running. 

What types of products, if any, do you use to help recover from your runs faster or is stretching good enough on its own for you?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Couch-to-5K and RSD River Ramble 5K Race Report

I figured since our next race is less than two weeks away (yay!) that I should get caught up on the three race reports that I have to write.

You already know that Mike and I started running in April 2011 and instead of just blindly trying to run without a plan or a goal in mind, we used the Couch-to-5K running program.  This program gradually builds up and you eventually are supposed to be able to run a 5K distance or run for 30 minutes without stopping.  Mike and I decided to follow the goal times because back then we didn't have our trusty Garmin.  It would have been difficult to determine the distance for each of our runs, especially in the beginning. 

I experienced severe knee pain in the beginning of the program.  I'm sure that I was hobbling around work quite a bit and I wasn't sure if we would be able to continue running.  Of course this upset me because I had already said that one of my goals was to run a marathon before I am thirty.  Specifically, I want to run the Mount Desert Island Marathon (where I grew up) but it will definitely NOT be our first marathon.  Let's just say there are WAY too many hills.  But I could be persuaded to do the relay next October. 

In the beginning of the Couch-to-5K (C25K) program Mike and I just ran near our house, it was easier and the runs weren't that long.  About one month into it we ran in Atlanta with my mom when we were there for my brother's graduation.  

No picture of us running, so here's Mike, my brother and me before the graduation

When we first started running, I didn't know if  we would actually sign up for a 5K or not.  I went online a few times to look for 5Ks that would coincide with our "graduation" date from the program, but we later found out that we were going to a wedding that weekend so no race for us.  

We opted to run in a 5K the weekend before the end of the program and for our first 5K we chose the RSD River Ramble.  This 5K benefits the Rochester School for the Deaf and as a sign language interpreter I felt proud to be supporting this amazing school.  

We went to pick up our race packets the day before the race and the man there was really nice.  Since Mike and I had registered early, not shocking for those of you who know me well, we got tech t-shirts!  They didn't have any in the size that I wanted at packet pick up so I had to get mine the next day.

On race day, June 4, 2011, we headed to the school around 8am.  I was able to get my shirt and we sat around waiting until we stretched and used the bathroom one last time before the start.  

A little after 9am we were off!  I felt like we were going really fast and that my heart was going to burst out of my chest.  I managed to eventually get that under control, but I had been nervous so that explains why my heart was going a mile a minute (haha).  The course was an out and back, which I wasn't really fond of once we went down a big hill that I knew we would just have to go right back up.  At that point I had said "I am going to puke" to Mike, but I didn't really. 

We finally made it back to the school after running along the bike path to Maplewood Park which follows next to the Genesee River.  There were times when I wanted to stop and walk, but Mike wouldn't let me.  I was really grateful that we had run our first 5K together the entire time.  I was nice and let him get a little bit faster time than me, though. 

The above picture depicts how I felt pretty accurately.  I was exhausted and happy to be done.  Mike looks good and a little bit happier than me, though.    

Mike's time was 32:01.53 and mine was 32:02.93, not too shabby for our first 5K!  We didn't really have a goal time in mind.  All I had wanted to do was run the entire time, which we did!

We had one more week to complete of the program and unfortunately the first run after our 5K we failed to complete.  We tried to attempt a trail run and I could only make it through 22 minutes before I had to call it quits.  I was definitely disappointed because we had just run for more than 30 minutes, but we made up for it the next day.  We officially graduated C25K on June 12, 2011 while running along the canal in Rochester.

Proof that we finished as Patrick watches to make sure we keep up our progress

I hope you enjoyed our journey through C25K and our first 5K experience!