Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Five

1. It's been over a week since my last post. Insert slacker status on the blog.. ONCE AGAIN!! I know you're shocked. I took my rest week seriously y'all and this week I am BUSY. Marathon training is in full force as of Monday this week and so far going well. I'm excited about my little road to Indy. I'll have more on that later. I do think I am going to do weekly training reports (starting Sunday) where I recap the week. I wanna keep a nice little log of my 2nd marathon journey.

2. I am not kicking my Diet Bet's butt yet. I was doing well the first week plus even with being on the road but again my body is at a standstill. I've limited my cupcake intake, been eating more fruits/veggies and of course running like a crazy person but the scale won't budge. I've decided I'm ok with that but dang... I still want to lose 3 more lbs to at least win back my $10. If I don't, fine. But I do think I will start another challenge or join one at least. Surely with marathon training gearing back up I can get back to last yr's marathon weight!? I mean, I'm not totally concerned w/the number on the scale because my clothes fit well BUT it would be nice to shed a few lbs instead of hanging steady at the same number for so so so long.

3. So, Tuesday my oldest hit double digits. Y'all I have a 10 year old daughter! It is hard to believe that time has gone by so fast. I keep thinking about how much SHE has changed over the last 10 years but at the same time I have reflected on how much I have changed as well.

4. I took Bootcamp before my run this morning. It's been a while since I had gone to that class. It was decent but definitely not a favorite. It's only a 30 minute bootcamp so it's very fast paced. I just did not care for the specific "routine" today. And I swear I did something to my dang shoulder, must've been that dumb 25lb kettlebell I used for tricep extensions. Yeah, probably shoulda used a lighter weight at least for today.

5. I left the windows down in my car on Wednesday after a sweaty run. I wanted to air the sweat out. Guess who woke up at 4am during a thunderstorm on Thursday morning and remembered the windows in her car where still down!? Yep, moi. Oops. I'm still trying to get the nasty stench from the rain out.My hubby has worked hard this week to vacuum, shampoo and Febreeze the heck out of it to help me out. Just a word of advice, those Febreeze commercials are way way wrong!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Making it through a rest week

Y'all my schedule this week is all about actively resting or something. Actually my schedule for this week says -"REST WEEK Run when you want, no more than 3 miles and no more than 4 runs."

I worried about how I would handle this week with trying to shed a few lbs and a chance to win my DietBet game since I wouldn't be logging all those miles this week. So, last week when my DietBet started I really focused on getting back to cleaner eating and smaller meals. I normally don't struggle too bad w/that but have been a bit more relaxed since I log 30+ miles a week. I know how that crap sounds - It's baloney to think that I'd ever be able to outrun my diet and NO I don't think I can. In fact, y'all I KNOW I cannot. And if you have been here long enough you know that I know. :)

My point is this- I am still a few lbs heavier than I was on April 1, 2012 when I ran my first marathon. I don't love that. I want to be either at the same weight or lighter on November 2, 2013 when I run my second marathon. So, I am trying hard hard hard to get these lbs off. This week has been hard though without all the extra miles.

I raced Saturday (you can read about that here) and since then have been on rest days. I thought I would get up Monday and do a light, easy few miles just for the sake of the calorie burn. I even packed a gym bag and planned to hit the trail with my hubby that evening. What did we do? Hit up the local Panera for a quiet dinner (I had salad) while the kids were at VBS. Total rest day.

Tuesday - same thing. I had hubby pack a bag and we had planned to hit the gym for a couple cardio miles and weights after we dropped our kids off at VBS. What did we do? Dinner out (I had salad, again).  Totally rested again.

Now, wait. I say I totally rested. I've been participating in a "squat challenge" with some gals online and have been doing that. 70 and 80 squats Mon/Tues. So not complete rest, right?! 

I cannot recall a time I have rested from running for more than a couple of days in the last 8 months when I began training with Knoxville Endurance and my awesome coach, Bobby. (you can read my little testimonial about KE and my coach here). Anyway, this week was (or is?) suppose to be about rest from the sport because next week I begin training for marathon #2 (more about that soon). So, I took 3 solid days in a row of rest. I hardly know who I am but I do know that rest is good.

Last night I decided that Wednesday would be a double header. Ok, fine.. this isn't baseball but whatever. I got up this morning and went to BodyPump for only the 2nd time in the last 8 months. Four hours post Pump and my arms still feel a bit like jelly. That means I did the work. And that feels good! This evening is a fun social run that I am looking forward to as well.

I am only slightly concerned about tonight's run because  in the back of my mind I have worried about what 3 days off may have done for my fitness. Has my pace suffered? Will my breathing be off? Those sort of things weigh on my mind more than they should. I know how crazy that sounds. I also know that rest is vital. A break in training is a good thing. It is what I need mentally and physically so that next week when I hit the track for speed work again or when I lace up for my easy runs and my weekend long run that I am 100% focused and my body is fresh to tackle the next 16 weeks of marathon training.

I'm half way through this week of rest and I already feel like it has served me well.
So tell me, how often do you take a break from the sport? Do you feel re-energized and focused? Do you worry about how it will effect your training?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer Solstice 8k - race recap

Because I am such a dedicated runner completely crazy I signed up for yet another race for the month of June. That means I raced 4 weeks in a row. Nuts. The race I ran this weekend ranks up there with the most challenging races I have done. Not only was it hot and humid, it was hilly!

Race time was 6pm and there was no early/day before race packet pickup. We arrived around 4:45-5pm because I knew I needed to grab my packet and do a warm up before the race. I grabbed my bag, set up camp chairs (there's bbq, a band and beer post race!) and gabbed with friends before doing my warmup.

Since it was so hot/humid out I was give the ok to only do a mile warm up instead of 2 miles. I changed into my racing shoes and had more water before lining up. This race starts on a downhill and runs mostly downhill flat the first mile before hitting a decent uphill. It's an out and back so what you hit down going out you hit up coming back. And believe me I knew at the first decent downhill what kind of beast I'd meet between mile 3 and 4. I was not looking forward to it.

My race plan had me starting at a 9:20 pace the first mile or and like always I went out too fast. I knew this before I hit mile 1 and the first real uphill so I took a walk break to try and reason with my head and get in control so that I wouldn't be too taxed to hold a decent pace the remainder of the race.

I did not carry water but knew I'd hit a water stop 3 times. The first water stop I took water and drank a few sips. The second water stop I took a water and took a sip but dumped the rest on my head. I was starting to feel a bit chilled and that worried me. I knew I'd began to get a bit warm so dumping the water on my head seemed to be a good choice. I took what I was hoping was sports drink at the final stop but ended up being water. Again, sip and dump seemed to be a good method for me.

Going into this race I knew it was not going to be a distance PR. This is a challenging course as the race description states. Add the heat and humidity and for a mediocre runner/racer like me you just don't get PR conditions. So, my expectations were relatively low though I did secretly hope there weren't many fast Athena's running this race. I wanted to keep my little, local Athena winning streak alive. When did I become so competitive?

                                                              coming up the hill in the first mile

The only thing I told myself this entire race was Just Finish.

9:02  9:24  9:20  9:48  8:18
Obviously mile 3 got me, big time. I had hoped to hit a solid 9:10 pace overall but with the walk break in the first mile to pep talk myself into slowing down and the major walk break up puke hill I just could not maintain it.

                                                        relieved as I come down puke hill

My Garmin read 46:14. Official time 46:22 which is not a PR nor was it good enough for a win. I've tried hard all weekend to not beat myself up over missing #1 Athena by only 23 seconds but it is what it is. I keep telling myself if I had ran more up the first hill and up puke hill I'd have hit this one just right but I didn't have it. It's ok though.

2nd place Athena
78 out of 176 overall isn't too shabby either!

Overall I am very happy with how this race went because I am coming to the end of a training cycle and have raced 4 weeks in a row. I ended an 8 month training cycle with a challenging course and that feels great.  I happily chugged a brew or two and enjoyed the post race bbq. Now I look forward to a week of easy running and/or rest before marathon training starts.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Run Under the Stars - recap

Saturday morning (a week ago, I'm such a slow blogger) we loaded our running stuff into an RV with friends and hit the road for Paducah, KY. It was a 5-6 hr drive for us so we left pretty early in the day allowing for us to take our time (and a few pit stops since we were hydrating well!). The ride was loads of fun. How can it not be with 5 adults, 2 teens, 2 8 yr olds and a puppy!? To entertain ourselves on the ride up my friend and I mocked the teenagers by attempting the duck face (is it duck face or kissy face??)....

And I got desperate for carbs/sweets at one point so I paid $1 for these Skittles from one of the girls...
carb loading for later in the day!?

We arrived safely in Paducah around 4 or 5. I get so confused when the time changes or we lose/gain an hour due to time zones. We waited on the rest of our crew to arrive (we had 2 teams of 5 and a crew of support). Anyway, race start wasn't until 8pm. We had plenty of time to nap, eat, set up camp and rest. Once everyone was there we grabbed our swag bags and hung out a while.

This race is run on a horse track. The infield is where runners set up camp.
Not long after we were set up a couple with a Semi pulled in near us. Now, if you know me and my Winey running friends you will know that we dominate some planking! We're always looking for creative places to get our #PlankADay on!  Check us out....

And no one should head out to an all night endurance run without proper hydration and calf tattoos...

After planking, getting our hydration station set up, locating bathrooms and getting geared up to run we decided we should devise a race plan. My team was a team of 5 (Winey Does RUTS II). It was me, my hubby, Phil, Cait and Ted. We were not planning to be competitive but to just have a good time and run what we could in the 10 hours of the run. I'm not sure that any of has a true distance goal for the night but I knew that my coach said he would be fine with me running anything between 15-20 miles, but no more than that.

I've done relays before (hey, Ragnar!) and they're a lot of fun. I do speed work on a track. However, I had never ran miles and miles and miles around a horse track as part of a relay. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. So, I set my goal to running 5 miles each 45 minute "leg" I was to be out on the track. I figured I could run 5 miles in that amount of time and I'd hit the goal of 15 miles but also thought maybe if I was up to it I'd go out and run some w/one of my team mates to get closer to the 20 mile goal.

At 8pm we all (both teams) decided to line up together and run one lap together. The track was a 1/2 mile around so it would be a good warmup for everyone. There were a few announcements and the National Anthem, bam we were off. However, when we rounded the last turn to the stretch and the start we were stopped. Timing issues would actually have us stopped 3 different times before the race got under way just after 9pm. So, instead of a 10 hour endurance run RUTS became a 9 hour endurance run. So much for the plan we worked out before the start. We were now just going to wing it and run what we could collectively as a team.

My first leg started right around 10pm. The goal was 5 miles in 45 minutes but since we were a bit off on time my hubby (who would run the next leg) showed up to take over the team bib a few minutes before my 45 minutes was up.

1st leg stats:
4.53 miles (9:21/9:15/8:51/9:04/4:53)
The goal was to run my legs at half marathon pace. I went out a bit fast my first leg but felt good. I chatted with friends, ate a snack, changed out of my sweat drenched clothes and napped a bit before my next leg.

2nd leg stats:
5.00 miles (9:23/9:09/9:03/9:12/8:58)
My hubby woke me from my nap just a little before 1am and my leg started around 1:30am. I felt refreshed but knew this one would be a bit more of a struggle because I only "napped" for about an hour. Overall based on splits this one looks good but I felt worn out and when my hubby was there to take over I was ready. I had a slice of pizza, changed clothes and hung out until my next leg. Again, this one was fast and I side stitched pretty weird almost the whole time.

3rd leg stats:
4.18 miles (9:47/9:41/9:35/10:56)
I was done before I started this time I think. Our legs were closer together this time around because we had one team mate only logging 10 miles so she ran twice. This was not an issue other than I was more tired than I thought and the pizza came back to bite me. I also side stitched so the last mile was a lot of walking.

Notes: I lost about a mile during the timing snaffu. It was later counted. I have the stats on my Garmin but didn't figure they were really worth sharing here since they weren't part of my actual legs.

Overall my team ran a total of 58 miles which was good enough to come in 5th overall for teams.
I am SO proud of my team mates!
Ted logged more miles/ran farther than he ever has. Gotta love a distance PR.
My hubby logged 21 miles for his mileage PR.
Phil and Cait both also ran awesome too. I'd be happy to have any of these awesome people on my team again!

What I loved about RUTS:
- race director Steve is awesome. I could go into more detail but awesome sums it up.
- laid back atmosphere. I love that this was basically a run at your own pace even if you're crawling type event. No pressure!
- Food! The aide station was awesome. We were well taken care of.
- Medals- You know I love some bling.
- Tech tee- enough said!
and finally running and watching this sunrise...

I really enjoyed this trip with friends, the people that were at RUTS and the overall experience of such a laid back event. I hope to get back next year and log more miles!

Monday, June 10, 2013

This is my #What'sBeautiful story

*This post is sponsored by Under Armour through FitFluential.

I have the hardest time writing my version of What's Beautiful.
I've had plenty of time to think about it since this campaign started but I've put it off because so many things have gone through my head.  Am I being the best version of What's Beautiful that I can be? Am I truly redefining the female athlete in my sport?

The answer is YES.

I started a little journey 5 years ago and even though I didn't think I was an athlete or even beautiful at 248 lbs, I was both. I just didn't know it at the time.

I did not come in first or even in the middle of the pack at this race that day (my first 5k in 2008) but I was not any less of an athlete or beautiful person as those folks that did. I didn't come in dead last that day either. My placement that day didn't matter really. What mattered was finishing.

What matters even more is that I have never since that day given up. I've ran through pain, injury, tears. I've ran through snow, rain, heat. I've ran on good days and bad days. I've had great races and bad races. I've Prd and I haven't. The most beautiful thing is that since then I have kept pushing forward through it all.

What matters is that all those in betweens are what has gotten me here.

I had someone recently ask me how I lost all the weight. I answered simply, "watching my diet and running..a lot." The reply I got from her, "Ugh, I thought maybe it was something easy that I could do."

If you're reading this and ask the same question. My answer to you is this.. it may not always be easy but YOU CAN do it. You can write your own beautiful story even when it is hard.

What do I hope to accomplish through this campaign?
Here is what I wrote for my goal to be (you can find my page here)...

To finally whole heartedly accept myself as an athlete, accepting the challenges before me and knowing that I'm not the girl I was when I started my fitness/running journey 5 yrs ago. Run, race, train my way to marathon #2 with more determination than I did the first time!! #I WILL.

So, that's my beautiful story and my goal. Be sure to check out my page or join my team here

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WW- Happy National Running Day

Skeeter Run 5k - race recap

My girlfriends and I decided a few weeks ago that we would do a girl's day/night out. The original plan was to head away from town for the weekend but we decided to save money on rooms and stay local. Once the date was picked things fell into place and the day's events were decided.

We started our day with a little local 5k race called the Skeeter Run 5k- Imagine No Malaria. Of course by the sounds of the name you can determine where proceeds were going. Great cause! We all signed up and that was how our Girl's Day/Night out began.

This was the same course as another local 5k race that runs here in July. An out and back on Neyland Drive in Knoxville. It's pretty flat and a location that I've ran many times. I wasn't worried about the course. Actually I wasn't really concerned about the race at all other than the fact that I had raced/ran hard the weekend before and it was much warmer and humid this weekend than last, but I would succeed.

There was an early packet pick up so I took advantage of that on Friday evening after work.

We did our 2 mile warm up, a few leg swings and used the port-o-potties before lining up for the 8am start and we posed for our first Girl's Day/Night out pic of the day.

 I was already a hot sweaty mess but felt as ready as I could to run. My race plan had me set to start the first mile at 8:20 pace. I went out a bit fast and much to my dismay had to even stop to tie my shoe that had come untied. Grr. Even so I pulled out mile 1 with an 8:06.

Mile 2 was hard for me. I was mentally not in it after the shoe tying fiasco and did not hit my goal pace of 8:10-8:15. I walked at the water stop (which for me is dumb since it was an easy 5k) and ended mile 2 with an 8:47, much slower than my 5k pace. Bummer.

Once in mile 3 I felt back in the game but was still hitting it slower than I needed to be. I could tell looking at my Garmin that if I just pushed I could possibly get a 5k PR.  Mile 3 was 8:18.

Not at all my best 5k performance. My Garmin read 25:21 which would have been a 30 second PR however, the distance read 3.03. Unfortunately on a short course (certified or not) it just doesn't count. In my mind I want it to but reality is I just did not run 3.10. If I was to do the math I think I could still have pulled off a slight PR even if I had ran the .06 missing, but oh well.

Even though I was disappointed I was still happy considering I spent :39 seconds stopped to tie my shoe. Just how does it take that long to tie a darn shoe!?
 I had convinced myself that 25+ minutes was just to slow for any awards and was focused on what else the day would hold for fun but imagine my shock when they called my name for 2nd place female in my age group (30-34)!?

I'm not the only one in my little circle of friends that won some bling! Check out my awesome friends....

So, despite the short course we were obviously all very happy with our performances!

Tell me:
Do you count a PR even if the course is short? Or do you accept it for what it actually is and set out to achieve the goal the next time?