Sunday, October 30, 2011

R.I.C.E.

Rest, ice, compression, elevation (plus ibuprofen, albeit begrudgingly) has been my mantra for the past day and a half and I think that I am starting to recover.


This is my life

Even though I haven't been able to run since my overuse injury diagnosis I did get to do some cross training today. While Mike was running (lucky), I went to the gym to use the stationary bike.

Even though it was around 10am on a Sunday, I was shocked to find out that I was the only one at the gym. This didn't last too long and some other people slowly trickled in while I was working up a sweat on my bike. I didn't even notice my foot pain the entire 50 minutes, except when my foot slipped a few times.

I covered a little over 13 miles and was happy that I had done something to work my muscles, especially since I haven't done anything in a week.

After I was done I went out in the parking lot to find Mike stretching near our car. We had decided that we were going to run 7 miles this weekend and even though I couldn't go anymore Mike went out for a solo run. When I asked him how it went he said that he wasn't quite sure because the Garmin died. Surprise, surprise.

He said that he had gone 3.75 miles by the time the watch died so we drove the rest and figured out that he had covered 6.75 miles, not bad! It made me feel good that he said he didn't like running by himself and that it felt weird to not have me there with him.

I changed up my R.I.C.E. routine a little bit when we got home and I took an Epsom salt bath to help with the little bit of bruising left on my foot. I also put heat on my foot for a few minutes because the doctor had said that since the injury happened a little while ago that heat might work better at this point. I will ice it tonight, though.

In other news, in addition to the Saucony Kinvara 2s that I bought (which are hopefully coming sometime this week), I purchased a pair of Saucony Mirages. By the way if you use the website runningwarehouse, Skinny Runner has a discount code!

I think that I am going to try to be a two pair or running shoes runner. My plan is to use the Kinvaras for shorter training runs and races and use the Mirages for longer training runs. I think that part of the reason I developed this injury is because the bottom of my Nike Free Run 2s were so worn out. I know that I should have gotten new shoes, but I didn't have enough time to get them before the half marathon and I didn't want to wear brand new shoes during a 13.1 mile run.

For fun let's see what the bottom of the Nike Free Run 2s are supposed to look like, shall we?


Source

Here are what mine look like:

Worn out shoes


The worst spot, forefoot running at its finest

I'm hoping that rotating between two similar types of shoes will help slow down the process of my shoes getting worn out. Plus, both types of shoes provide a little bit more support than the Nike Free Runs and are more conducive to a midfoot strike rather than my current forefoot strike. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Nikes but I don't want to continually get injured!

What types of shoes do you wear? Do you use multiple pairs of shoes or just one?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three to Five Days...

I'm not excited about writing this post, especially since it is the type that I hoped I would never have to write (but really that was probably being unrealistic).

Mike and I have only been running for six months and we have already completed six races, including our recent half marathon. We have barely taken any time off and have gone from one training program to the next, yet, for the most part we have felt fine. Well, Mike typically always feel fine. I'm the one that has had knee pain, foot pain and ankle pain at different times throughout our short running career.

I have run through all of the pain and it has all gone away in a day or so. Yet, I know that I really should have probably taken a few extra days off here and there, but I figured that most of the pain that I felt was normal.

After our half marathon, I had a hard time walking. But, I had just run 13.1 miles, so I didn't really think anything of it. I knew that I was going to be sore and that I would probably have to take a few days off before running again. Which is fine, since our next race isn't until November 13th.

Yet, after a few days I knew that something wasn't quite right. I just kept hoping that the pain in my left foot would go away by the next time we ran.

Tonight was the first time that we ran since Sunday. Mostly because of recovery, but I also had a dentist appointment last night.

We barely made it past a mile before I had to stop. I have been secretly thinking the worst, a stress fracture, and I finally caved in and made an appointment.

The doctor felt around my foot and asked me if I was feeling any pain when she pressed on certain areas. The most painful spot was right on the top in the middle.

After she was done with that she told me that it was highly unlikely that I have a stress fracture. She said that she didn't feel anything out of place or any broken bones and that my foot wasn't swollen. She did say that there was some bruising on the top of my foot, though.

She concluded that I most likely have an overuse injury and I have to ice, elevate, ace bandage wrap and take ibuprofen three times a day.


Fun times

Plus, I can't run for three to five days.

I know it could be worse, a lot worse, but I am really disappointed. Mike and I were doing so well and we have already taken four days off from running. I really don't want to take any more days off. Don't worry, I'm going to listen to the doctor.

I know that I am going to be right back to running in no time, but until then I will just be trying to recover as quick as possible. She did say that if after five to seven days the pain is still persistent that I need to get it checked out again.

Even though she told me that I can't run, I'm hoping this means that I can still cross train. Mike is going to run without me this weekend and I'm probably going to go to the gym to use the elliptical or stationary bike.

How have you dealt with injuries? Or have you been lucky enough to not have any?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seven Things Tuesday: Bloggers I Admire

If you are new around here, first, welcome! Second, every Tuesday I do a post called "Seven Things Tuesday" to continue the celebration of my husband's and my seven year dating anniversary.

This week I am going to do it a little bit differently than normal, I'm not going to talk about seven things that I did today. If you really must know it would have probably included something about how our Garmin arrived this weekend, the shoes that I ordered are on back order and that I am really sore from our half marathon. Oh, you didn't know? Mike and I are half marathoners! I will probably obsess about this for months and months until our next half marathon, most likely on New Year's day.


Such a good feeling coming into the finish with my husband cheering me on!

So instead, I am going to talk about seven different bloggers who I admire and secretly wish that we were best friends so that we could talk about running all the time.

Ali - Ali on the Run

Ali's blog was one of the first running blogs that I started to read a few months ago. She is a really entertaining writer who lives in NYC and she just completed her first marathon! She "Ran for the Rabbit", JackRabbit Sports, and raised money for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. That's how I got my "I heart sweat shirt" that I wore during the half marathon! She picked this organization because she happens to have Crohn's disease and keeps it real on her blog by sharing how this disease affects her running.

Ali - Ali Runs

Another Ali! When I found her blog, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she lives in Rochester currently because of grad school. I like her style and I think that we could be really good friends. We were going to meet up at the Run for Hospice 10 mile race, but she didn't run because of the bad weather. That's because she didn't want to jeopardize her upcoming marathon, that she just completed this past weekend. I can't wait to read her race recap! I noticed that she said she's sad that she doesn't have a race on her schedule to look forward to, so maybe she would be interested in running in one with me and Mike soon.

Rena - Miles to go Before I Sleep

Rena's blog is a newer one that I have started to read and I like what I see! She happened to comment on my blog because she also reads Ali Runs (they met at a half marathon). We are also going to hopefully meet up sometime because she goes to school semi-near Rochester. I am jealous that she is going to run in her third half marathon in California, an amazing birthday present that she bought herself! I hope she can get closer to her goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon!

Emily - Sweat Once a Day

Mike often confuses this blog with Ali on the Run because of the sweat shirt, for good reason I think! This sweaty girl's blog is another one of the first running and endurance training blogs that I started to read in September. I was fascinated by her strength and passion for the sport. She has completed numerous triathlons, including our goal: an Ironman. I love how even when she is in a tough spot, her blog usually has a positive take on life and running. Right now is one of those times because she unfortunately broke her foot recently. I know she will be up and running in no time and crushing her sub-3:20 marathon goal!

Melanie - Tall Mom on the Run

One of the west coast blogs that I read and really enjoy! I love how she can balance running, working, blogging and spending time with her family. She is really encouraging and might possibly venture into the ultra marathon scene next year! I look up to her as a runner and if I ever met her in person I would literally look up to her. She is 6'0 while I am 5'4. She also rocks the pigtail, running skirt and compression socks look!

Casey - This Girl Can Run

After Casey commented on my blog, I of course went to check out hers! We both started running and blogging around the same time, so I definitely have a connection with her posts. Our long training run paces are similar so she has me feeling confident that I can run a sub-30:00 minute 5K like she has! She just started to swim, so I hope that I can give her some helpful tips. I also love that she includes some cute photos of her cats on some of her posts.

Melody - Will Run for Margaritas

I love this blogger's style! While I don't like margaritas as much as she does, I think it's great that her blog has some sort of theme. She is also super speedy and I aspire to be half the runner that she is. I love to read her race recaps and dream about running a sub-20:00 minute 5K! See, I told you she is speedy. She also does tons of great giveaways, which is just an added bonus to her blog. Melody works for Brooks, the running company. Seriously, what's not to like?

I couldn't include all the great blogs that I read, so if you are interested in what else I read take a look at my Stop, Drop and Roll page!

Which bloggers do you admire?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Foliage Half Marathon Race Report

As of approximately 12:20pm yesterday, Mike and I both became half marathoners!

Let's start at the beginning.

After our pre-race festivities (by the way I bought the Saucony Kinvara 2 and Mike bought the New Balance 890), we headed to bed for the evening. We woke up to the alarm at 7am and got ready for the race.

We both brought our breakfasts in the car (two pieces of toast with peanut butter for me and an energy bar for Mike) since the drive to the race was about an hour and a half. I was really glad that Mike's dad was driving to the race, we were able to relax in the back of the car.

When we arrived we all headed to the bathroom. Of course, Mike got through the line MUCH faster than Mike's mom and I did.

Prior to stretching and warming up, we took a pre-race photo.

Semi-unaware of what was awaiting us (even after driving the course)

It was a little chilly so we were all still wearing our jackets and sweat shirts. Those were quickly shed and handed off to Mike's dad after we did our warm up run.

After the 5K participants were lead down the road to their starting location, the half marathon runners were told to line up. We were closer to the front, but not as close as Mike's mom!

There we are!

The race director was getting us pumped up by saying things like, "if this is your first time running this race, make some noise!" Well, since it was the inaugural race we all made some noise.

Then, before we knew it, we were off and running our first half marathon ever!

We ran through the town of Rhinebeck in the beginning and as we rounded the corner I could see Mike right behind his mom. Mike wanted to try to keep up with her and possibly beat her, but he didn't. He later said that he went out too fast and should have tried to catch her later on in the race. Oh well, now he knows for next time!

One of the mile splits that I remember was the first mile. I clocked in at 9:27, which was faster than my first mile for the 10 miler last weekend. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep up a sub-10:00 minute pace the entire race so I tried to hold it for as long as I could.

The water stations were every even mile and I used the same mental trick that I used in the ten miler. I just kept telling myself to get to the water stops and it seemed to do the trick again!

When I passed the three mile marker, my watch said 29:00. Around the 4th mile is when I lost the sub-10:00 minute pace. This was also when I took my first Clif Shot energy gel because I knew that the hills were coming up.


Here's a reminder of the course elevation

This course was challenging. Mike's mom later said that it was probably the most challenging half marathon course that she ever ran. That's definitely saying a lot.

I just focused on conquering the hills one at a time. I took advantage of the flat and downhill portions and then just did what I could to get up the hills.

I wanted to take my second Clif Shot energy gel at mile 8 since I was working so hard to get up the hills, but the water stop was way before the 8 mile marker and I missed the opportunity to take it.

Near the 9 mile mark, there was an out an
d back portion where I was able to see Mike! I asked him if he was ahead of his mom and he said no. This was when I took my second energy gel and took some Gatorade at the turnaround point. One of my complaints about this race was that it was advertised that there would be three water stops with Gatorade, but this was the only one that actually had it!

Luckily, some spectators set up their own water stop with Gatorade at the 11 mile mark and I made sure to grab some.


Also, happening around this time


Mike's mom coming into the finish


Mike did not let that girl chick him

At this point I knew I was going to be close to my A Goal of 2:15:59 and I just focused on finishing the race. I chicked a guy (he was really old, so I'm not too proud haha) toward the end of the race and made my way up the finish. That's another complaint, an uphill finish at the end of a half marathon is really not fair!

My cheering squad

I saw Mike and his parents as they were cheering me on and rounded the corner into the finish.


None of those people passed me


I was happy, I just couldn't see Mike's dad who was taking pictures

As I crossed the finish line people were complimenting my sweat shirt. I got my finisher's medal and met up with everyone else.

It felt so good to finally be a half marathoner! Our times were really good for the challenging course, Mike finished in 2:06.03 and I finished in 2:18.56. Mike's mom had a good race too, her time was 1:55.24. We were all off of our goal times, but considering all the hills we d
id really well!


Happy to be done!

I couldn't really eat anything after the race, so we all just changed and headed to Buffalo Wild Wings. In retrospect, this probably wasn't the best choice for a post-half marathon lunch because it didn't really sit well in my stomach.

Today we have just been relaxing and recovering from the race. We probably won't run until Wednesday, when our new shoes should hopefully arrive.

I really can't wait to run another half marathon! I know that we can both improve our times since our first half marathon was so challenging. I don't regret picking such a challenging race because now we know we can accomplish anything!

I hope everyone's races went well this weekend!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pre-race Festivities

Today Mike and I headed to Rhinebeck to pick up our race packets for tomorrow's race!

First, here's the one good photo of me from the Run for Hospice last Saturday. There was a photo of Mike but he didn't want it put on the blog.


Source

I hope that I look that happy tomorrow.

Picking up our race packets took about five minutes. We also picked up Mike's mom's race packet and t-shirt. The shirts are really nice! It's green, which is my favorite color! It's also a tech shirt so I can wear it on training runs.

The main reason that I wanted to go pick up our race packets today was so that we could drive the course. Since it is our first half marathon, I want to minimize any surprises as much as possible. Overall the course is nice, it varies between flat and rolling hills. None of them appeared to be monstrous!

After that we went to eat lunch at Panera and went to Dick's Sporting Goods to see if they had some shoes that I was considering buying. Unfortunately, the store we went to didn't have them in stock.

We then went to check out a local lighthouse. If you didn't know we are a little bit obsessed, to put it lightly, with lighthouses. We have seen over seventy of them!


Saugerties Lighthouse


The front view

This lighthouse was nothing spectacular, but it was still nice to check one off of our list!

On our drive back, we made a quick stop at Fleet Feet to see if they had the shoes that I wanted to try on. We felt really bad since we weren't planning on buying any shoes. Mike's mom is going to order them online for us because she is a VIP member through an online shoe website.

The guy measured my feet, checked my arch, watched me walk and run around in three pairs of shoes. I ended up not really liking the New Balance 890s but I did like the comparable shoes that he brought out. They were the Saucony Kinvara 2 and Mizuno Wave Precision 12, I liked them both! I liked Mizuno's shoe better than Saucony's, so I am most likely going to go with those. I think that they will work out in the winter a little bit better than my Nike Free Run+ 2's.

We had a pasta dinner with Mike's parents and now we are spending the rest of the night relaxing.

When I return, we will both be half marathoners!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is it...

Tonight we ran our final training run before our half marathon. Our three mile run took us around our neighborhood as it started to get dark. We clocked in at 30:30, which is 10:10 pace.

I was also able to try out my shirt for the Fall Foliage Half Marathon, since it arrived today in the mail!


Love it!

I ordered this shirt over a month ago, hoping that I would be able to wear it this Sunday. I wore it tonight to make sure that it would feel alright and it was great! I'm so glad that this girl ran a marathon and raised money for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.


The nice letter sent with my shirt

Hopefully wearing this shirt will give me some running luck!

When we started running six months ago, on April 12th, I didn't even know if I would be able to run for a minute at a time. I remember walking around work and feeling like my knees were going to fall off of my body. I told my officemate that if I didn't figure out how to run the right way that I was probably going to have to stop, before I even truly got started.

I worked on it, even though it hasn't always been easy, and we are now three days out from our first half marathon. Can you believe it? I really can't, not yet anyway.

How have I gone from being the girl who thought that running for eight minutes at a time was a big feat (it was at the time) to someone who can run for 1:41.19 at a time and is hungry for more?

How have I gone from not even being able to finish a 5K without stopping to walk unless Mike was right there with me to being able to run 10 miles all by myself and finish strong and happy?


Source
I walked during this race



Source
I walked during this one, too


However it happened, I'm glad that it did. I'm glad that we started running 6 months ago and that we are going to accomplish something on Sunday that not everyone can say that they have. Whatever happens, I know that I am going to be proud when I cross the finish line because I will be a half marathoner!

Obviously, my goal is just to run the entire 13.1 miles without stopping or walking, but some time goals wouldn't hurt either. After my run on Saturday, I know that I can hold a decent pace for quite a long distance. The elevation map for the half marathon is a little bit more hilly than the Run for Hospice, but I am not going to let that deter me. I am going to kick those hills' butts!

Hey hills, I'm not scared of you!

Using the McMillan Running Calculator I put my ten mile time in to determine my potential half marathon time.


Source

I should be able to do a 2:14.33 half marathon based on my time from Saturday's race. Since the course is a little bit hillier than the 10 miler, it is more realistic to say that my A Goal should be 2:15.59, a 10:23 pace.

My B Goal is 2:20.59, a 10:46 pace. My C Goal is 2:25.59, a 11:09 pace. I would still be happy with anything 2:29.59 and below. I do not want to go above 2:30!

This weekend we are boarding Bernie, our dog, and leaving tomorrow for Mike's parents house. (Mike's mom is running in the half too!) Their house is only an hour and a half away from Rhinebeck so we won't have to wake up too early for the race on Sunday. We are going to pick up our race packets on Saturday and stop by a nearby lighthouse. I'm hoping that I will be able to do some pre-race posts this weekend, but if not I will definitely get you all caught up on Monday!

I want to wish Rena, Ali and Katy good luck at their races this weekend! Rena is running in what looks like a "hell" of a good 5K, Ali is running in her second marathon, an international one at that, and Katy is running in a rock 'n' roll half marathon!

Good luck to everyone else racing this weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

16th Annual Run For Hospice 10 Mile Race Report

On Friday night Mike and I met up at Grace and Truth Sports Park to pick up our race packets. The entire process took about five minutes and we got our bibs, t-shirts and course map. We also asked if they were going to have Gatorade in addition to water at the water stops, to which the reply was that they weren't going to have it. Neither of us thought that we would need it so we weren't too worried.

Since we had the course map and we had never seen the course before, we decided to drive the ten miles that night.


Source

Our drive confirmed (since I was already semi-aware) that the course was relatively flat. There were some gradual inclines, but nothing as bad as the 5 mile race we ran in September.

After we picked up Mike's car from the sports park we drove to Target to pick me up a cheap watch. Since our Garmin was out of commission after Mike dropped it, he was going to wear our regular watch. This meant I needed a new one. I found one for ten dollars and then we headed home.

We had our typical dinner of pasta with marinara sauce and garlic knots. After relaxing for a little bit and taking an Epsom salt bath it was time to get to bed.

We woke up to the alarm around 7am. Mike got into the shower while I fed our pets and made my breakfast of two pieces of toast with peanut butter. Mike ate half of an energy bar. Once we were both ready we headed out the the sports park.

The weather wasn't as bad as it was supposed to be, which was a good thing! It was still pretty cold, though, and the walk to the starting line for the ten mile race was pretty chilly. We noticed that we were some of the only people wearing shorts and t-shirts, but we knew that most of those people would get too hot during the race. I do wish that I had a throw-away long sleeve shirt or someone to hand a sweatshirt to right before the race, oh well!

After doing a brief warm-up run/walk to the start, we stretched and got behind the starting line for the race. The race director kept saying "20 seconds" for what seemed like 5 minutes. Finally, we heard the count down and then we were off!

As is typical of our races, I knew that I was going to be by myself. I am more mentally prepared for that now compared to the first time that Mike left me during a race.

The first mile flew by! The 5K participants were all lined up on the side of the road waiting to start their race and cheered us on as we ran by them. Before I knew it, I was at the first water stop indicating that I was at mile 1. My split was around 9:40.

For the 10 mile race there were water stops and split timers at each odd mile. As a way to get myself motivated I kept telling myself to just get to the next water stop and then I would be able to get a drink. I think it worked!

It started to sprinkle around mile 1 and didn't stop until around mile 3. I was just happy that the wind wasn't horrendous like it was supposed to be. When I reached mile 3 I was still under 10:00 minute per mile pace! My 5K time was around 30:40.

This was when I started to run alone, literally. There was a group of runners a few hundred yards in front of me and a group of runners a few hundred yards behind me. I just focused on keeping my feet light and easy and tried to catch up to the group in front of me.

When I passed the 4 mile mark, I knew that I would have to take my Clif Shot energy gel out of the back pocket of my capri pants soon. I also had my car keys in there so I had to be careful not to drop those! I held onto the the package for a little while until I could see the 5 mile water stop in the distance. I sucked down as much of the gel as I could before I handed it off to a volunteer to throw away. I drank some water that he handed me and I couldn't believe that my time was still under 10:00 minute per mile pace! My time at the 5 mile mark was 49:xx (I don't remember the exact seconds).

I was shocked that I had been holding that kind of pace for 5 miles and I just told myself to keep at it. I was still alone at this point, but I was going strong. I hit the 10K mark (it was so nice to have all the signs) and it was 1:01:xx. Still under 10:00 minute per mile pace!

I finally caught up to some people in front of me and when I passed them I could hear the girl talking about cheese and food. At that point she said "oh sorry, I forget that people are running a race!". I turned and said "you are running it too!" She said something about how she knew that but here she was talking about food. It provided me with some comedic relief that I needed at that point!

Pretty soon after I passed them is when I felt the wind pick up and start to hold me back. I would have to say that the 7th mile of the race is when I lost my sub-10:00 minute pace. Mike even mentioned later that the 7th mile was the only time he went above 9:00 minutes.

I willed my legs to keep going and got through the mile 7 water stop. The only other unpleasant part of this race is when I was in between mile 8 and mile 9. The course has you run right by a waste management facility! Not a pleasant smell at the end of a 10 mile run!

Around mile 9, I just wanted to be done even though I knew I was going to be really close to my A Goal of 1:40.59. I wanted to see Mike and find out how he had done. My 15K time was 1:34.xx. One girl that passed me cheered me on and I told her that this was the longest I had ever run. She replied that it was the longest for her too! That gave me the final push that I needed to finish the race.

Right around 9.5 miles I chicked a guy! I saw Mike, got my photo taken by the race photographer and headed into the home stretch. My final time was 1:41.19, so close to my A Goal! Mike's final time was 1:29.23!

We stuck around for some of the food that was provided, but most of it was cold by the time we were finished! I didn't have very much of it and went back into the car to wait for Mike. He was nice and brought me an apple and Gatorade.

This was definitely one of my favorite races so far. I was so proud of myself and Mike for what we accomplished. Even though it was only supposed to be a training run, we decided to just go for it and see what we could do. I know that if the wind hadn't picked up around mile 7 that I could have kept up the sub-10:00 minute per mile pace.

I am ready for our next race!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Seven Things Tuesday: Our Garmin and a Holiday Challenge

It's time for another edition of Seven Things Tuesday!

Our Garmin

I mentioned last week that our Garmin had an unfortunate accident. Luckily, it was still under warranty and we were able to have it repaired or replaced for a small fee. We sent it out right away and thankfully it is on its way here! Hopefully it will arrive before the end of the week.

End of the Year Race Plans

Mike and I are already registered for the Stockade-athon 15K in Schenectady, New York on November 13th, but we have some other possible races to add to the rest of this year's race schedule.


Source

On November 5th there is the East Avenue Grocery 5K Run. Even though it is the week before the Stockade-athon we should be alright, right?

But, then I found the Southeast Family YMCA Annual Turkey Classic 5 Mile Race on November 20th. I would rather do this one because I want to run a sub-50 minute race!

Finally, we are definitely doing the It's a Wonderful Run 5K race in Seneca Falls, New York on December 10th! This should be really fun because you run through the town of Seneca Falls all lit up at night.

The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge


Yesterday while browsing some other running blogs, I noticed Amanda's Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. I decided to sign up because it seems like a lot of fun! You get points for different activities that you do, for example, you get one point per mile that you run. The challenge runs from November 19th to January 6th and there are possibilities to win some amazing prizes. If you want something fun to help you commit to working out during the holiday season you should consider signing up!

Fall Foliage Half Marathon


We are five days away from our very first half marathon! This weekend's race (recap will be done tomorrow, with or without race photos) helped me believe in myself even more. I know that I am going to crush this half marathon. I'm sure consultation with the great McMillan Running Calculator will be happening soon.

New Winter Running Clothes


Look at how pretty!

On Sunday, Mike and I went to Target and Marshalls to buy some new winter running clothes. I bought two pairs of pants, two long sleeve shirts and one jacket. I can't wait to try them out! Mike also bought a pair of pants and one long sleeve shirt.

Relatives Visiting

On Saturday after our race we went out to dinner with some of Mike's relatives. His cousin was in Rochester playing in a volleyball tournament and his aunt and uncle made the trip from California to come watch her play. His other uncle and grandparents came to watch too. We didn't go see her play but we did get to go out to dinner at Mario's with his relatives, minus his cousin (she had to go out to dinner with her team). It was a lot of fun and we even got all of the leftovers because no one had a refrigerator in their hotel room. I finished the last of the leftovers this afternoon for lunch!

Our Run Tonight

I can't believe we are in our last week of half marathon training! It is officially taper week and tonight's run only called for four miles. I mapped out a 4.1 mile route while I was at work and when we both got home we headed right back out to run.

Overall the run went pretty well. The route that I decided on combined roads that we have already run on and others that we hadn't yet. That may have been one reason why we went down the wrong road and after that happened we were afraid that we wouldn't get our 4 miles done.

We finished up the rest of the run and added a little bit extra at the end. Mike mapped our route when we got home and we did exactly 4 miles! Our total time was 42:23, which is 10:35 pace. I had some stomach issues on this run, but I don't think it held back the pace too much. Maybe the leftover eggplant parmigiana from Mario's caused the problem.

What were your seven things today?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We survived!

Even though the weather looked a little scary for the 16th Annual Run for Hospice Ten Miler (and 5K), Mike and I still survived! Sadly, the weather was enough to cause Ali to not run. I don't blame her though, she has her second Marathon next weekend!

I will write an official race recap later after the photos are up, but we had an amazing time. Mike's official time was 1:29.23 which was an 8:56 minute per mile pace. I'm so proud of him! I was only twenty seconds off of my A Goal with a finishing time of 1:41.19. I really thought it was a long shot that I could hold that kind of pace (10:08 minutes per mile) for 10 miles, but apparently I can!

We were going to run in the RIT Brick City 5K Fun Run today, but we were a little tired and decided not to.


We also didn't like that registration started at 8:30am but the race didn't start until 10am. Since the race is a free event that's not too bad, but we didn't want to hang around for almost an hour and a half before running.

There's always next year, but if the Run for Hospice and this 5K fall on the same weekend we would most likely pick the Run for Hospice again! Even though, if we run in our first Marathon we might have to re-think that plan.

How did your races go this weekend?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Our 5th Race

Tomorrow Mike and I will run our 5th race!


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This annual race gives runners the option of either doing a 5K or a 10 miler. Before we even finished the Bridge-to-10K program, we knew that we were going to run the 10 miler. We wanted to use Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon training program, but we weren't sure if we wanted to commit to a half marathon.

Once we knew we wanted to do a half marathon, I started to research potential options. We originally wanted to run in the Cape Cod Half Marathon, but scrapped that when I realized that Falmouth, Massachusetts is almost eight hours away from Rochester. I would have loved to run this race since it goes right past this lighthouse, but with the race on a Saturday I don't think it would have worked out too well.

Once we dropped that idea we decided on our current half marathon, which is one week before the Cape Cod half marathon. While I was looking at our training schedule I realized that the Run for Hospice ten miler would fall on our first (and last) 10 mile training run.

Even though it is technically a training run, Mike and I still want to race it. Since we are so new to running, our training runs (well, MY training runs at least) are so similar to our race times that we don't think it will jeopardize our half marathon next weekend (eek it is 9 days away!)

Using the McMillan Running Calculator, I determined what my possible 10 mile time could be based on the first 5 miles of our 9 mile run on Sunday (my fastest 5 miles yet).

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According to the lovely McMillan, I should be able to do a 1:46.23 ten miler. That's a 10:48 pace. I think that I can go faster than that. Our average pace on our 9 mile run was 10:25 and I don't think that one extra mile would make me slow down too much. Plus, that is faster than what it projected for my 15K time and I doubt I would have slowed to an overall average pace of 10:33 in just .3 miles.

But, there is one thing that I am concerned about slowing me down this weekend.


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I'm not worried about the rain or temperature, I can handle that, but the wind has me worried. Hopefully it won't slow me down too much!

Realistically, my A Goal would be to come in at 1:40.59, which is 10:06 pace.

Since that may be a stretch, my B Goal would be to come in at 1:45.59, just a little bit faster than McMillan's calculations at 10:36 pace.

My C Goal would be to finish in 1:50.59, which is 11:06 pace. Let's hope that my new friend Mocha Clif Shot energy gel will prevent this from happening!

I just realized that each of my goal paces increment by 30 seconds!

Tonight, Mike and I are going to go pick up our race packets so that will be one less thing we have to worry about tomorrow morning. I'm really excited to run in this race and to hopefully meet this lovely lady who is running the ten miler as a taper run for her second marathon!

Are you racing this weekend?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Sucked it Up

Before I talk about tonight's run, I want to talk about my first Epsom salt bath.


Generic brand from Wegmans

One time while talking to my mom, most likely after my first ice bath, she said that she heard Epsom salt baths were good for minor sores and bruises. My parents don't have a bathtub but my mom ended up putting it on a towel and placing it on an area of her leg that had bruised from running. She said that it seemed like it worked.

Yesterday, I gave it a try. It was nice to be able to have warm water rather than ice cold water. I soaked for about fifteen to twenty minutes and when I got out it seemed like my feet didn't hurt as much as before. Unfortunately, the effect wore off more quickly than with the ice bath and I ended up icing my feet. I'm not going to give up on Epsom salt baths but I might pour the Epsom salt into my next ice bath instead.

Now on to more exciting news.

I sucked it up (literally) and tried Clif Shot energy gel on our 5 mile run tonight. I loved it! I got the mocha flavor that Mike had on our run last Sunday and it tasted great. Compared to Gu I thought the consistency was much better and it was easier to suck down the entire package. Normally, I wouldn't use anything on runs 7 miles or less but I had to try it before our race on Saturday (more on that tomorrow). I am so relieved that I finally found something that works for me!

Our actual run went really well too. While at work I mapped out a 5 mile route because our Garmin is out of commission for a little while. Mike wore our regular watch and we headed out around 6:45pm. I had to wear our headlamp because it was almost dark went we left.

Overall, I felt strong the entire time. I had to slow down a little bit because it started to rain and I didn't want to slip on the leaves scattered on the sidewalk. I felt like we were going at a pretty good pace and I actually enjoyed not really knowing how we were doing. I didn't even figure out where the halfway mark was, but we had a good idea because we have run part of the route before.

When we were almost at the end of our run, Mike said that it had been 47 minutes so I knew we were in good shape.


It's not a Garmin, but it will do

We ended up doing the 5 miles in 50:52 which is 10:10 minutes per mile pace! Not too shabby.

Then we came home to this:


I'm happy you are home, so I can get out of my crate!

Have you tried an Epsom salt bath before? Also, what time of day do you prefer to run? I am loving nighttime training runs!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I have a dilemma

I really, really, really (times a million) do not enjoy eating while I run.

I tried Gu.


Not so good

I tried Shot Bloks.


A little better

I don't know what to do.

I found this article from last year that described the differences between Gu, Clif Shot Energy Gel and Luna Sport Moons energy chews (probably similar to Shot Bloks).

The end of the article mentioned that not everyone uses energy gels or chews for various reasons. I have even found on some other websites runners who say that for 16 miles or below that they do not eat or drink anything.

I have expressed my concerns to Mike and he told me that I probably don't need to eat anything. He even said "people have been running these distances for a long time without eating". My mom has told me the same thing and I know that she does her long runs without eating during them and she can hold a sub-9:00 minute pace.

But then I get nervous. What if I need the little bit of potential energy during our upcoming 10 mile race and our half marathon? I say potential because I really didn't notice anything from the Shot Bloks but that may have been because I was wasting energy from not being able to breathe.

I have said I would try cutting the Shot Bloks into smaller chunks, but I don't really want to do that. I may give Clif Shots a try, Mike seemed to like it on our 9 mile run, but should I try something new the day of a 10 mile race? Probably not. Gu did go down easier and it was the taste that I didn't like, so maybe I should try a new flavor.

It is hard to get advice from people because we are all different. What works for me might not work for Mike, my mom or any other runner out there and vice versa.

If you were me, what would you do? Go with Shot Bloks cut in smaller chunks? Try a different flavor of Gu or Clif Shots? Or would you go sans nutrition and see what happens?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seven Things Tuesday: Fantasy Football and New Bag

It's that time of the week again. You guessed it, it's Seven Things Tuesday!

Fantasy Football


Don't mind Mike's team name, it involves Michael Vick

Last year one of our friends asked Mike and I to join his Fantasy Football League. It was a couples league and overall it was pretty fun. At first I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep up with my team every week because of going to grad school part-time and working full-time but I managed. This year though I didn't want to play! I got suckered into it one more time and I really do think that this is it for me. So far I have lost four times and I am in second to last place! My one win happened yesterday during rivalry week. That's right, I beat Mike! I don't think he was too happy that my one and only win so far was against him.

My New Bag


Such a steal

Isn't it pretty? I bought it a little while ago but I just started using it this week. Mike and I went to Target one day for a few things and I saw these bags hanging up. The bag that I was using was starting to get a little frayed (I go through them SO quickly) so I decided to take a look. I'm so glad I did! It was on sale for a little less than $9 and it is a crossbody bag which I think is absolutely necessary. It is a little smaller than my old bag but I'm not taking classes right now so the size is perfect.

Seneca 7 Relay Team

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Last week I promised that I wouldn't use a Seven Things Tuesday post to ask (i.e. beg) for teammates for what I think is going to be a pretty awesome relay. If you saw my quick post yesterday you already know that we have a full team with at least one possible substitute if that becomes necessary as we get closer to April.

So who are we? Well we are currently figuring out our team name but I will fill you in on who my teammates are. There's Mike (of course), my mom (this will be her first race ever!), our friends Sarah and Mark (we swam with Mark in college), Cat (an awesome diver turned runner/triathlete) and Suzie (my first friend in the interpreting program at college).

Our backgrounds with running vary but I know that we are going to have an amazing time! I can't wait until April 28, 2012.

Eastern Mountain Sports Fail


Today after our run we headed to Eastern Mountain Sports to try to get my mom some Nuun. She wants to try the Strawberry Lemonade and Grape flavors and our EMS has carried both of those in the past. Unfortunately, when we went today they were out! They only had a few Lemon Tea tubes and even though we like it I didn't think my mom would so we left empty-handed. There are a few other locations that have Nuun so we will try those next and hopefully have better luck!

"Lucky"

Photo Credit: Ryan T. Collier

In the car on the way to EMS we heard our first dance song "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. It's not a song that is played on the radio very often so it was nice to hear it and bring us back to our wedding day.

Apples


Yum!

I mentioned on Sunday that Mike and I were going to go apple picking with our two friends. It was so much fun! We went to the same place last year but this time the apples were MUCH better. We were able to pick Empire, Jonagold and Cortland apples. We will be eating them for awhile so if anyone has any recipes they would like to share let me know!

Our Run Today

Mike didn't have to work today so we were able to run during my four hour break. Our plan called for 5 miles and we just ran near where I work. We started running around noon and I was a little worried that it was going to be too hot. My officemate and Mike said that it wasn't too bad outside so I put my worries aside and got ready to run.

After stretching we got to it. The first two miles our pace was really good. It felt like we were going slower than we were and I told Mike that I felt like we were going slow. He said that it is probably because I'm getting faster, which excites me!

Then,
the heat got to me. I had to take my shirt off and run in just my sports bra, not a fan. As we approached the 4 mile mark I had to stop and walk a little bit (untimed). We got back to it and finally finished.

Here are our stats:

Lap 1 - 10:01 pace
Lap 2 - 10:05 pace
Lap 3 - 10:19 pace
Lap 4 - 10:24 pace
Lap 5 - 10:26 pace

Total Time: 51:16.59
Average Pace: 10:15 minutes per mile

Unfortunately, when we were stretching Mike dropped the Garmin. The start/stop button got jammed and we couldn't get it unstuck. Mike called Garmin and since it is still under warranty we can get a replacement. It's going to take 10-14 days, hopefully less, so we will be going Garminless for a week or two. We've done it before so it won't be too bad, we will just have to map out our route and wear our regular stopwatch on our training runs until the replacement arrives.

What were your seven things today?

Monday, October 10, 2011

We have a relay team!

Just a quick post since I am SO excited about having a relay team for the Seneca 7 Relay!!


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My amazing friend just confirmed this afternoon that she will do the relay with us and I could not be happier. I can't wait to run some miles around Seneca Lake with my friends and family.

I'm sure the next couple of weeks leading up to registration will be filled with logistics but the most important thing for us right now is figuring out a team name! Some ideas thrown out so far, in the twenty minutes from the time I established a Facebook group for our team to now, have been the kivabernies (a combination of Mike's and my dog's name and two of our other teammates' dog's name), will run for cinnamon rolls (a take on my post yesterday), will run for whoopie pies and the signing seven (most of us know sign language). What will our team name be? Not sure yet, but as soon as I know I'm sure you will all find out!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I run for..

Cinnamon rolls. That was my motivation today during our 9 mile run (new PDR).

Last night Mike and I carbo-loaded on some pasta with turkey meatballs. I think it was the first time we sort of intentionally ate pasta the night before a training run. We eat pasta and other high-carb foods often so I'm sure it has happened other times too.


Yum!



Earlier in the week we went grocery shopping and picked up another energy gel for Mike, this time the Clif brand, and a package of Shot Bloks for me. I went with the Cran-razz flavor hoping that it would work out better for me than Gu did last weekend.



Before our run, I separated the package into two ziploc bags because I only needed three "bloks" for today's run. Three bloks have the same nutritional value as one package of Gu and other energy gels. I also wore our hydration belt again with each of the bottles filled with water.

After eating our respective small breakfasts (two pieces of toast with peanut butter for me and half of an energy bar for Mike), we drove a short distance to a parking lot that leads to the 390 bike path. For you non-Western New Yorkers 390 is one of the interstates, I actually have to drive it every day to get to work.

Once we set out I felt like we were going a little fast and Mike actually said "we should slow down". We didn't really do that though until after 5 miles.

Take a look for yourself:

Lap 1 - 9:56 pace
Lap 2 - 10:09 pace
Lap 3 - 10:03 pace
Lap 4 - 10:08 pace
Lap 5 - 10:23 pace
Lap 6 - 10:27 pace
Lap 7 - 11:10 pace
Lap 8 - 10:55 pace
Lap 9 - 10:32 pace

Total Time: 1:33.46
Average Pace: 10:25 minutes per mile

We went fast enough to beat my 5 mile time! Our time after 5 miles was 50:39, which is even faster than our estimated time the other night when the Garmin died.

For some reason the Shot Bloks didn't seem to do anything energy-wise for me because around the time that we took them (4.5 miles) we started to go slower! I guess we had gone a little too fast in the beginning and I struggled a little bit in the middle of the run.

I'm not sure if I liked the Shot Bloks better other than taste. I really don't like eating while I'm running and I felt like I couldn't breathe this time because I was chewing. Mike suggested that I cut the bloks into smaller pieces, so I will try that next weekend during our 10 mile race.

Overall I am pleased with this run, I just wish my energy level held up a little bit better. I do think that the heat, it was around 71 degrees outside, didn't help me either.

Mike and I are going to finish out the day picking apples with two friends and then we are all going to our other two friends' house to watch football. Today is rivalry week in our fantasy league and Mike is going to kick my butt, oh well!

How did your weekend runs go? Do any of you have any suggestions for what I should do nutrition-wise during my long runs?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lessons Learned Tonight

Well tonight was full of some lessons learned. But first some (I hope not all of the photos that will be posted) of the photos from Lollypop Farm's Barktober Fest 5 Mile race that we did almost two weeks ago.


Photo from Lollypop Farm's Flickr page

If you click on the above photo, you can see us. We're both wearing blue shirts and we're standing behind the guy in the black and yellow tanktop.


Photo from Lollypop Farm's Flickr page

You can see Mike in this photo too, he's behind the lady in the coral long sleeve shirt. The more important aspect of this photo is that you can see the first and second place runners. Guess who they are? The guy in the white tanktop bending over? Guess again. The guy in the blue shirt and blue shoes? Nope. The guy in the black shirt wiping his nose? Not even close.

The first place finisher was the woman in the blue Nike sports bra and green and pink shoes and the second place finisher was the woman in the white tanktop and pink shorts. Their times were 30:18 and 30:34, respectively. The third place finisher's (the guy in the white tanktop bending over) time was 31:24. That's chicking at its finest right there.

I hope that they put more photos up because I'm pretty sure there's a really awesome photo of me near the finish. I have been checking Lollypop Farm's Flickr site obsessively for the past week and a half.

Now, onto the lessons that we learned.

Last night Mike and I didn't run. Even though we were supposed to, but Mike ended up having to work later than he was scheduled. Good thing we ended up running on Tuesday.

One lesson that I have been learning throughout our entire running process is that sometimes we have to be flexible. Admittedly, this is hard for me. I am type A to the extreme. Just ask my friend who was our wedding day coordinator. I had everything labeled, with pictures and a list attached. Everything was planned just so and then, as with all weddings, some things had to be improvised or changed.


Gratuitous wedding shoe photo
Photo by Ryan T. Collier (if you go on his site you can find more photos of us)

I am learning that the same thing applies to running. Some days we just can't run even though our schedule says we are supposed to. When we were first running, I would get mad when we had to stop at traffic lights because it "couldn't count as time that we ran" (pretty much an actual quote). Granted we were running for time then, but really? I need to lighten up at times. (If you are interested you can read about how I really feel about traffic lights here.)

Even though yesterday we were supposed to run 3 miles, we ended up doing 5 miles tonight. Since it was close to 7pm when we started we just ran near our house. When we got ready to leave Mike realized that our Garmin was only at 13% battery. He quickly charged it a little bit more and got it up to 16%. We decided that since the battery might die that we would do an out and back route and turn around after 2.5 miles so that we would at least know our distance.

I felt really good during this run. I wore our headlamp because it was going to get dark but I probably didn't need to wear it. I think I love night time running!

Right before we got to the halfway point Mike said to me "my shoe is untied".


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We got to 2.46 miles and we stopped so that he could tie his shoe. I hope that from now on he is going to double tie his shoes like someone else in this family.

At that point we just turned around because we were practically at halfway anyway and the Garmin seemed to be holding up. Seemed is the operative word here.

After we finished the third mile, Mike looked at the Garmin and said "we are going 9:34 pace". I replied that I felt fine so we needed to keep going and possibly get me a 5 mile PR since we were on pace for it. Then the Garmin beeped that it was at low battery.

The Garmin died at 3.91 miles. Big bummer since we were still going 9:33 pace.

Since we turned around a little before halfway we ended up running past where we started.

Here are the incomplete stats of our run:

Lap 1 - 10:12 pace
Lap 2 - 10:21 pace
Lap 3 - 10:17 pace
Lap 4 (.91 miles) - 9:33 pace

We were still going pretty strong the last mile, so we decided to say that we went 10:20 in the end. That would give us a time of 50:43, which beats my 5 mile PR. Obviously I can't count it because we aren't entirely sure what we did the last mile, but whatever we did still beat my current PR.

So the major lesson from tonight?

Charge the Garmin! Especially for training runs where a PR might be set.

What are some lessons you have learned from running (or life in general) recently?