Sunday, September 30, 2012

One more week

Today marks one week to go until I run my 6th half marathon.

My week in training (if you call it that) was an easy one.

Monday- BodyPump class
Tuesday- 5.15 mile run (46 mins/8:57mm)
Wednesday- 4 mile walk w/hubby
Thursday- rest
Friday- BootCamp and Core Challenge
Saturday- 8 mile run (1:17:30/9:41mm)
Sunday- rest

I didn't make a running/workout schedule in advance for this week but had planned to run easy. I guess easy this week meant less mileage! This is the only week in a while that I didn't log 4 runs or take my spinning class. I didn't miss it since I was able to change some things up and added a brisk walk and talk with my hubby. We rarely get to take the time to do that and it was nice.

This coming week I am not real sure what to expect. So far this is my plan for the week..
Monday- run with TRR 3-4 miles easy
Tuesday- Spinning or easy 3 miler
Weds- BodyPump
Thursday- walk
Friday- rest
Saturday- rest
Sunday- Half marathon #6

I've shared before that I have a specific goal for this race. I feel like sharing my goals with others is helpful. I like the support I gain from setting goals and sharing them. So what if I don't reach my goal? Should I be ashamed? Will others ridicule me if I don't meet the goal I said a million times I wanted to make? Heck no and no way. By sharing my goals I am keeping myself honest, especially when I say that in the end with a race the goal is always to give it my best and finish. And if I didn't announce my goal then perhaps that leaves the door wide open after the fact for me to say, "eh, well this was my goal but ...." and that's just not me.

So, my goal for Saturday is to run the hardest, best race I can and give it my all. My time goal before my injury was sub 2 hours on the half but now I'd love to shoot for 2:05 BUT also be realistic and realize that anything under 2:10 is STILL a PR for 13.1 miles. And on this particular course a year ago I finished in 2:23 with it being only my 2nd half marathon. I've worked hard and ran a lot, making some huge strides in my running over the course of the year even with my injury. So, that being said I feel like I have a good shot at making my goal or at least setting a course and/or distance PR for this weekend.

I'll try my best to blog this week and not be so boring. Also stay tuned next week for a race recap AND don't forget to check out my SpiBelt giveaway that ends on October 8th!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - shoe love

[caption id="attachment_1578" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Makes me happy! [/caption]

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2 weeks and a giveaway

In two weeks I will be running my 6th half marathon. I ran this same race last year as my 2nd half marathon. I'm really excited as it's going to be a fun girl's weekend but also because I've put in a lot of hard work and hope to set a new PR.

After coming off an injury following my marathon I wasn't sure what this year would hold as far as running and PRs but I'm happy to report that running has been great and my hip has felt pretty well on most of my runs. I'm loving the cooler temps and gorgeous weather days we've been blessed with here in East Tennessee the last week or so and definitely hope that Georgia is blessed with the same 2 weeks from today when I head down to run 13.1 ATL.

As you know I am a procrastinator but I am happy to report that today I am going to tell you about a product that I've been using this year on all my long runs. Running long distance it is necessary for me to carry some form of "fuel" and also have a place to store my car key, extra Imodium and even the emergency TP these days as well as my iPod on the rare occasion I decide to listen to music on my run. So what does someone like me do with all that stuff while I am running? I carry it in my SpiBelt.

I purchased my SpiBelt at the expo for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon. I was a little leery of using a new item for a race when I had not previously done a long run with it but the girl at the expo gave me her word that it would stay in place. So having that information I decided to give it a go. I purchased the polka dot belt and a couple of the loops for my bib so that I wouldn't have to pin it on my shirt. I loved that my belt wasn't plain and was colorful enough to match almost any running outfit I wore! And of course having the loops for my bib was nice and kept my shirt from being snagged by safety pins.

I was able to stash my phone, sports beans, toilet paper, a good luck charm, my iPod and extra Imodium in my SpiBelt for race day. I was also able to use my Amphipod clip and bottle to my belt should I need the extra water. I was surprised at how much room was in my SpiBelt as well as the fact that it really DID NOT move up and down on my waist. I love using it on my long runs and plan to wear it for my half marathon coming up in a couple of weeks.

After my marathon the folks at SpiBelt sent me a red SpiBelt to host a give away on my blog. I've promised you all for way to long to get this up and now I am finally doing it! YAY!

So here's the deal... I will leave this giveaway open until October 8th at noon (Eastern). Now, what do you have to do to get in on it?

~ Go to SpiBelt look around and tell me what you like? Come back here and comment!

For extra entries:
~Follow my blog!
~Follow me on Twitter!
~ Like SpiBelt on FB Here
~ Follow SpiBelt on Twitter Here
~ Tweet or post on your blog about this giveaway.

Come back here and leave a separate comment for everyone you did! Good luck!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Haven't done this in a while and I'm lacking creativity (imagine that) tonight but want to get something posted. So, here goes...

1. I had a terrible run last night. Terrible. I suppose I was due one though. I started out feeling great, hitting my pace just right. 9:39 for the first mile. No problem. But the further I got the worse I felt. My stomach started cramping up and I felt sick. Luckily just around 2 miles there was a bathroom, so I stopped. Kept going and just was not finding my groove. I felt slow, stomach was angry and I was beginning to let it all get in my head. I wanted to get a 5 miler in. My pace for a 5 miler is right between 9:22-9:40 and I just wasn't hitting it. I ended up getting my miles in and my average pace was 9:53. At first I was mad because this was slower than my 15k from the weekend and that was frustrating. But like I said, I was due. I always say that the bad runs just mean I have a good one coming up or they make me appreciate running even more.

2. My running buddies are all away this weekend living the high life and racing it up in Napa Valley. They're running the Rangar Relay. You can follow their adventure on Facebook here or on Twitter here. I'm really excited for them (and can't wait to join them in Jan for Key West) but really am going to miss having my crew around for my Saturday long run.

3. I was doing well with my #PlankADay streak not long ago. I'm think I need to step it up and get back to my daily planks. There are probably several bloggers and lots of my Twitter pals doing these challenges so I should just force myself to jump on board. I had worked my way up to 3 min planks. It's time to refocus on my planking goals. That starts tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wears Valley 15k recap

I had never ran a 15k race before so when I found out this was a team race and lots of my buddies (and team mates) were running I decided to make use of some of the volunteer coupons I had laying around. I asked a friend or two what the course was like and when they said it was a great course I said, "sign me up!" I needed a long run anyway so why not turn my long run for the week into a race?

This was small (139 registered/ 129 finished), local race described as:
A lovely, scenic, and challenging course that runs on backcountry roads near the Little River. First mile is flat, followed by a major hill near
2 miles. Rolling hills the rest of the way, with a flat final mile. Course closes after 2 hours – this is not a
course for walkers.
(taken from the race website). I knew a few things...
~hills don't intimidate me like they once did
~I would most definitely make that 2 hour cut off since my last 10 miler was done in 1:37
~a flat finish is always a plus
~it was a team race and my team/friends were all going to be there

The only negative going into the race was the fact that my husband would not be there. Football season keeps him away on Sundays due to meetings then we had church and the kids to also factor in. I'd be flying solo for this one. It wasn't really a big deal as I knew where I was going and my friends were all going to be there. However, the bummer was the fact that there would be no pictures (he's great about taking them) and he wouldn't be there to cheer me on at the finish.

I woke up just before 6am and got dressed in the clothes I laid out the night before. I left the house with plenty of time to get there, ate my Fig Newtons (my new pre-race/long run "meal") on the way and was at the race site by 7am. It was a cool morning, low humidity but I knew it would be warming up. I decided on my running skirt and sleeveless top but took a jacket just in case.
I arrived, got my bib/bag and met my friends. Most of them are in training for fall marathons and have schedules that put them needing to log more than the 9.3 miles of this race for their long run of the day. I decided to do a bit of a warm up with Dave before the 8am start. I think I logged a total of 1.5 miles give or take with him before heading back to my car to lose the jacket, grab my hat and head for the port-a-potty line, which by this point had gotten quite long!

After my pit stop it was time to line up. However, we couldn't start a race without at least one team photo.
[caption id="attachment_1566" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Team Socialites[/caption]

This race was not chip timed. We went on a one, two bang! With the shot of the little gun we were off and running. I did not have a strategy for this race. I just wanted to run my comfortable pace (9:22-9:48) and finish standing. That's always the goal, right!? Ideally I would have love to start slow and progress up to a faster pace for the last few miles but I am not the best at pacing myself. Also, I knew there was a bit of a hill at the 2nd mile. I also knew the course was rolling and wasn't sure when to expect the uphills. The uphills still give my silly hip a bit of pain so I made sure to leave room for walking if needed.

The first mile was great. Having warmed up pre-race I was ready to go and found it relatively easy to settle in. The only thing in that first mile that sucked was the smell of bacon cooking in the campsite we ran through. I heard a few around me say it smelled good but my immediate thought was, "That's nasty!" I do love me some bacon, just not while running! The hill at mile 2 would prove to be a bit tough for me. I was playing leap frog with a guy and once I passed him I decided to slow and walk the 2nd half of the hill to which he said, "I'm with you. I'd rather save my energy for later!"

I don't really remember a ton of details from mile to mile. I knew there was a water stop coming up between mile 2-3. I took a water but only sipped and kept running. I didn't run this race with music as I usually don't when I'm running outside these days. I guess I got lost in thought some during this run. That's sometimes really nice. Just being out there in the open with my thoughts is quite peaceful and therapeutic.

This course was an out and back, however we didn't repeat the first two miles. The turn around was at about mile 4.5. On my way out of mile 3.5 into mile 4 the faster runners were on their way back. It was so good seeing some of my (faster!) friends and being able to cheer each other on. I know for myself the encouragement from them was great!

Splits for the first 5 miles..
1 - 9:40
2 - 10:36 (hey walk break!)
3 - 9:30
4 - 10:16 (water stop, at which point I also ate ShotBlox)
5 - 9:48

I wasn't sure what to expect for the second half. At this point I didn't know that we would not be repeating the first two miles so I was kind of not looking forward to some of the hills I had gone up (and come down!) the first half of the race. But I pressed on. I didn't notice a lot of stuff around me other than the litter on the side of the country roads we were running on. I had picked up a water at mile 4 but since I was busy trying to eat my ShotBlock I didn't toss my cup and felt awful about tossing it further than where the water station was so I carried it with me all the way to the next water stop (bwtn mile 6-7). I did a trade off with the volunteer at the next stop and she thought it was funny that I'd held onto the cup from mile 4 for so long. Truth is, I've volunteered before and I knew they'd be the ones picking up the Gu pkts, cups and whatever else us messy runners left on the side of the road and it made me feel guilty. (Shout out to all the awesome volunteers out there, races wouldn't be possible without you!)

I was still holding a steady pace from mile 7 on and at that point I started to pick people off and do my best at speeding up and passing a few runners from there to the finish. I think that alone kept me going. Splits for the last few miles...

6 - 9:39
7 - 9:42
8 - 9:36
9 - 8:56
.37 - 3:11 (8:47)

I really tried to kick it up in the last mile and push hard to the finish line. It was awesome having some of my team mates there to cheer me on to the finish. I didn't notice the time on the clock but hit my Garmin as soon as I crossed. (1:30:57 for an overall pace of 9:43)
I hung around for the awards ceremony with my friends and was incredibly proud of them! SO many from my team took home awards. And hey, Team Socialites even placed 2nd! Nice job!

official stats-
Overall finish 95/129
Division 2/3
1:31:00 (9:46 pace)

I'm pleased with this race. It was my first 15k race so an automatic PR. I really like the distance. The weather was perfect and the course really was beautiful. I DO wish I had pushed myself a bit harder up that first hill and a couple other times during the race but overall I'm happy with how well my running has gone especially after spending so much time this summer on the injured list!

And even though my husband wasn't there to take pics I did find one that the race photographer took. This was between mile 6-7.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Motivational Monday

I have a race recap coming soon. I ran a 15k yesterday, my first. While I am proud of my time now that it is over my goal is to work harder because I know that even my best can be better. I need to go beyond the extra mile and push myself if I want to hit all the goals I have for myself. Sometimes I find it really easy to say those things but difficult to DO them. But if it was easy wouldn't everyone being doing it?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August recap and September goals

August came and went really quickly. After summer vacation was over it seems time just flew right on by and my kids were in school, football season had started and fall is right around the corner. I don't really have a lot to recap for the month of August. It wasn't an overly exciting month...hotter than all get out but not very exciting. I did not race but I logged some pretty decent miles. I am not totally healed from my hip injury but I went to my last PT appointment and was given the go ahead to run all I want by the orthopedic dr. I didn't lose a ton of weight but the scale did finally start moving in the right direction.

So, what do I have to say?

Milage - 118 miles for August
Some running hi-lites are - getting back to regular double digit long training runs. This has been very good for me and I've noticed a change in where I am now compared to where I was this same time last year. Progress is always good. This time last year I was gearing up for my 2nd half marathon. I now find myself gearing up for half marathon #6!

Weight- 2 lbs lost
But I can't really count them since they're 2 of the 7 lbs I've been up since my marathon in April. Yes, I spent 12 weeks injured but that's not an excuse (to me). Still, I am 10 lbs lighter than I was this same time last year AND my clothes are smaller. Something is working my favor. I still have work to do though.

Just how is that pesky hip?
Well, like I said PT is over. I also got cleared by my dr to run as I can and if there is no pain then he doesn't need to see me. Good, no surgery. I am mostly fine. There are only certain times when I have issues and it's not so much in my hip joint on the labrum where the tears were/are/whatever but my pesky hip flexor and the fact that it is overcompensating still. This just means that on fast(er) runs or long runs or even hilly runs I get a bit of tightness. Nothing that can really be fixed during a run though so I spend a good deal of time after the run foam rolling and stretching and that does help. I'll keep moving right along as long as my pesky hip will let me.

September is here! And it's almost a week gone. Crazy.
I haven't really thought about goals besides to just keep going in the direction I am going. I say that every single month, don't I!? I know. I as over it as you are.
I could say that I am going to try something new but really there isn't much I haven't already tried by way of classes at my gym or running. However, this weekend I am going to run a race. It's a distance I haven't raced before so that is going to be my try something new for the month. I don't have a time goal since it's a racing distance first. I'll already have a PR just for running and finishing!

Weight wise I refuse to set anymore numerical goals month to month or week to week. I'm not doing it for September however what I am doing in that regard is making a more conscious effort to eat cleaner. We do a great job for the most part but there are times (like tonight) when I go out with friends and have every intention of eating a salad but totally go for something else (like bbq quesadillas and sweet potato fries).

Mileage goal for September? Hmmm. I am kind of on this 100 miles per month streak. I like it. If I finish this week up like I think I am going to I will already be up over 40 miles for the month which is almost halfway to goal! I think I can make it. Half marathon training has gone well and with only a few more weeks til race day I still have at least 2-3 more double digit weekend long runs which should definitely put me over 100 for the month!

Overall I am pleased with how summer went despite the injury. I am happy to be running and have gotten back to where I was pre-injury in a short amount of time. Despite the weight thing I still feel like I am successful. And of course like I said, I can only keep moving forward from here. I like where I'm going.

Did you meet your August goals? What goals have you made for September?