Saturday, December 17, 2011

Las Vegas - Better Late Then Never ...

I feel bad that it's taken me so long to throw up a blog post about this. But it is what it is.  And as a mother for 4 children, a wife, a full time employee with 9 kids at work, and Christmas on the horizon I've been one busy woman!  With that being said hello ??  ... I ran my first half marathon!!!  And it was


It was a girls trip.  My BF Rebecca and I were headed to Vegas on a 4pm flight.  We arrived at the airport with PLENTY of time to spare.  I had rented a couple movies on my new Kindle Fire I received for my birthday the week before so I was set.  The flight went well and next thing we knew we were pulling our bags off the carousel and headed to our hotel in a taxi.  We were staying at the Excalibur .. turns out it was the first of many very good decisions we made.  As soon as we were checked in to the hotel we quickly headed over to the Expo to pick up our packets. This was the biggest expo we had ever been to.  While I thought it was kind of cool it was also kind of a drag that we were there right at the end.  I would have liked a decent t-shirt to commemorate the race but all they had left were the smallest sizes.  While I don't consider myself a large girl the shirts were short and medium just didn't feel long enough.  The one I ended up getting definitely wouldn't have been my first choice either.  Oh well .. live and learn. 

So we were in the 32nd corral.  Unlike SO MANY other race participants we were registered in the correct corral.  In fact we actually erred on the side of caution and registered for a slower pace than we were hoping we might be able to pull out.  Seriously there were 44,000 runners .. that's SO many!

I thought these were really cute!

I'm excited!

Gosh I wish my body looked like this.

I thought it was kind of cool to see one of my hometown races represented at the expo too.

We walked through the whole expo, bought a couple of stickers and just kept moving.  When we finished we decided to grab a quick bite to eat before making our way back towards our hotel.  This was it.  A delicious Philly Chicken Sandwich.  So good.  With water.  Did you know that most places in Vegas serve Pepsi products?  It was seriously hard to come by a Diet Coke anywhere!

We then headed back over to the Mandalay Bay.  There was a blogger meet up there.  We didn't feel like we had enough time to go back to the hotel to change clothes so we were still in the stuff we'd worn on the plane with our race packets in tow a well.  When we found the lounge we took a peek inside and I didn't recognize anyone.  So I guess all in all you could say I chickened out and we headed back to our room.  I felt underdressed and I am terrible meeting new people.  The lack of a familiar face was just enough to tip me to not go.  I know .. I know .. I suck.  There's a small part of me that wishes I had stepped out of my comfort zone. But really I felt like these lovely ladies would have looked at me and my small town blog and thought .. WHO ARE YOU??!!

It was good though.  We headed back to our room and got off our feet.  Went through our goodies from the expo .. tried on our snazzy new headbands.

Then we went straight to bed.  It had been a long day.  The next morning was race day and we had a pretty good plan.  Once we were up and moving (I slept in but not too too late) we headed downstairs to the buffet for some breakfast.  We ended up buying an all day all you can eat deal.  We knew we wouldn't be going anywhere before the race so we figured it would work out well to come back at lunch time.  And the plan was also to go straight there after we raced.  So this was the first big decision of the day .. what to eat.  I didn't want to eat anything weird but I also knew that this would be my only big meal before running.  So I took a gamble with some eggs benedict.  It was tasty and thank goodness it all sat very well with me the rest of the day.  Another cool thing Rebecca noticed was a couple people who came to the beverage area and filled up their water bottles.  The night before we had both purchased a big bottle of water from the hotel for $5.  Kind of spendy when I knew I needed at least one or two more that day.  We knew the water out of the soda machine would be filtered and so I waited at the table while Rebecca ran up to our room to get water bottles.  We also drank lots of Gatorade out of the soda machine as well.  It couldn't have worked out any better.

Once we loaded up on water and Gatorade we headed straight back to our room to get off our feet. That was the plan.  Laze around the room all afternoon and rest our legs.  I had also brought with me my travel Scrabble game that my brother gave me for my birthday.

We laid with our race gear laid out.

My race bib!

My very first pair of real running shoes. I actually laid off on the miles on
these babies just to save them for race day. I only ran my long runs in them.

So at 2pm we decided to run down to the buffet for a quick and light lunch.  We both ate pretty bland carb heavy foods.  Some mashed potatoes, a bread roll, more water.  But we didn't eat a lot at all.  Just enough to hold us over until dinner.

We had originally planned to wear matching outfits.  Well turns out Vegas was much colder than I had anticipated with the wind factor.  At the very last minute when packing I had thrown in a 3/4 zip long sleeve pull over and I was SOOO glad I did.  I also bought my very first Lululemon purchase the week before, these capri's.  They have pockets on the front of the legs and I can't even tell you handy it was to have those!  I stuffed my fuel in there and once we got running my gloves went in there too.

Here I am ready to go!
I have to say in the end I had the PERFECT amount of clothes.
I had my beanie and gloves, as well as my calf compression sleeves.
I wasn't too hot and I wasn't too cold.

And so we headed over to the Mandalay Bay on foot.  Like I said, we were so glad to have stayed so close. We were only 2 hotels away which meant we could walk there and back.  It was an easy walk over there but once we arrived .. well it was kind of a madhouse. There were a lot of people and they were all huddled inside to keep warm.  We intentionally didn't bring any bag to check so we were lucky to avoid what was reported as horrible bag check lines and the such.  We headed outside to see what was going on.

The rest of my pictures are all from my phone .. so excuse the blur.

Rebecca had been suffering from some serious knee issues in the last few weeks of training.  Her longest run had been eight miles.  We were going to start the race together and the plan was to run together for as long as possible.  Soon after we arrived outside we had time for a few pictures and then they were directing runners to head to their corrals.  So off we went.  We didn't make any more last minute trips to the honey buckets.  Our plan had been to fuel once as we got ready to start the race, then again at mile 4, 8 and 12.  We were both carrying our own fuel.  This again proved to be a good choice.  I hadn't every tried any GU's on my training runs so there was no way I was going to try it for the first time at the race.  We were both also running with our handheld water bottles.  Another FABULOUS choice.  I had run many of my training runs with my handheld in order to really get used to it.  I was so glad that I had. I made one last minute change and switched to a smaller bottle.  Looking back I think that I probably would have preferred my big one, only because it would have saved me one slow down for a refill.  I had also cut in half some of my Camelback Elixir's before the trip so that I could drop them in my water when I refilled during the race.  Another really good choice. 

This picture really doesn't do it justice but I was trying to capture the number of people lined up.

They were supposed to be releasing corrals every two minutes.  Since we were so far in the back this meant that our actual start should have been about an hour later than the race start time.  It was so slow moving and first and it sucked to be so far in the back. Well then we just started walking and walking and there was no stopping.  Well apparently they had given up on the corral starts and just let everyone go.  Well this was good for us as far as we were cold and so ready to get started but then again I don't think it helped the crowding situation.  As anyone who reads this will probably know this was my first half marathon and I had trained very diligently for it.  Once we crossed the starting line it was .. well .. interesting.  We spent a good part of the first mile focusing very heavily on making sure we didn't trip over peoples discarded clothes.  I get the whole "throw away" aspect.  But man .. it sucked that they were in the MIDDLE of the road.  Secondly, there we SO MANY PEOPLE.  We were in the first mile and people were walking and jogging MUCH slower than a 12:30 pace.

And so it began and continued for the entire race, weaving around walkers and slower joggers.  I seriously have no problem with people who do a walk/run method of this distance at all. BUT and this is a big BUT .. they should be walking on the far far right and allowing other people to run.  This did not happen the entire race and that sucked more than anything else.  It was exhausting trying to constantly get around people.  And since I registered for the correct corral and clearly these folks didn't and it downright pissed me off.  There were people walking very casually 3 and 4 people across shoulder to shoulder.  You literally couldn't get around people and so it was very hard to hit a stride at all.  And so it went. I tended to take the lead and weave, Rebecca would be just behind me.  Then we'd run side my side for a minute and weave some more.  Rinse and repeat for 9 miles.  The course was fun. I loved running down the middle of the Las Vegas Strip .. I mean seriously does it get any cooler than that?  The small bit (or at least it looked small on the course map) where we ran through some of the back roads was okay.  Although it did seem to go on forever, the back roads that is.  We fueled during all the miles we had planned to.  When running through the water stations I swear it sounded like horses running with all the cups dropping.  The ground was just covered in them.  And you had to be careful not to slip on one.  Rebecca and I both refilled out water bottles using the water provided on the course and neither one of us got sick at all.  I can't speak for the flavor of the water because I used my Elixir tablets.  I felt so good and strong the entire time.  There was never a point that I felt like I needed to walk and I NEVER walked.  Not through water stations, never.  Once we hit Mile 9 Rebecca needed to slow down.  She needed to save gas to finish.  So I forged ahead.  As I ran into Mile 10 I knew I had plenty of gas and so I kicked it up a little.  I think that I enjoyed my return trip better than the trip out.  It wasn't until these last few miles that the crowd thinned out.  The full on walkers were way in the back by then.  And we were no longer being yelled at by people on bikes, "Full on the left, Half on the right!!"  Yeah .. I forgot to mention that part.  It was incredibly frustrating!!  I had trained too and there was no reason that I should have been forced into running behind all the walkers just because I was running the half marathon and not the full.  I get the full marathon people were frustrated too .. WE ALL WERE.  But to be constantly yelled at when I wasn't even in the full marathon lane was a little insulting.  And to listen to the folks on the bikes doing the yelling joking to each other about how they don't care what people think .. well .. it was just rude.

And then there it was .. the finish line.  I finished strong.  Weaved around all the walkers in the finishing chute.  Again .. super annoying.  And I may have bumped a few shoulders pushing there at the end to maintain my pace.  But


I couldn't have been more proud of myself. It didn't bother me that much that there weren't any friends or family there at the end to celebrate with.  I collected my finishers medal, which apparently I'm lucky to have gotten because they RAN OUT!  Headed straight over to get a space blanket.  I tied it around me and I was instantly warm. I pulled my gloves out of my pants pocket and put them on and I was just fine.  While I was waiting for Rebecca to finish I headed over and got a bagel to munch on and some more fluids.  It was definitely a madhouse. SO many people milling about.

Here was a picture looking back right after I crossed the finish line.

My text picture to my family telling them I finished.

I eventually caught up with Rebecca.  She too managed to run the entire way!  She was so happy and excited .. we both were.  Here are my official results:

Time:  2:45:05
Pace:  12:36
Overall:  22051 our of 33123
Age Group:  2635 out of 4173
Gender:  12659  out of 21051

Mile 1:  13:41, HR 140
Mile 2:  12:53, HR 148
Mile 3:  12:40, HR 152
Mile 4:  12:27, HR 154
Mile 5:  12:23, HR 158
Mile 6:  12:45, HR 156  (we stopped for water here)
Mile 7:  12:17, HR 157
Mile 8:  13:10, HR 157
Mile 9:  12:41, HR 159
Mile 10:  12:11, HR 166 (this is where we split off and I headed on alone)
Mile 11:  11:53, HR 168
Mile 12:  11:24, HR 171
Mile 13:  11:00, HR 174
Mile 13.1:  11:24, HR 179

I'm really really pleased with my overall negative splits.  Especially all that gas I still had once we split off and I picked up the pace.  Overall .. I guess I'm just pretty proud of myself.  I ran a very smart race. I started slow, I fueled really well, I hydrated really well .. I guess I just feel like I played it really safe and didn't make any major amateur mistakes.  Yeah .. without all the walkers I could have run a faster race.  I know in the future that while I want to start out slow I probably don't need to start out that slow.  I know that my training worked. I stuck to the plan and there was no cheating and it paid off.

In retrospect, after the race it sucked .. everything they said about the Mandalay Bay and trying to get through there was true. It was awful.  Once we finally made it back to our hotel there were very limited choices as far as somewhere to get dinner and we were definitely hungry.  We ended up and Baja Fresh and they had closed by the time we finished eating, so we lucked out.  We went back to our room that night and started reading the onslaught of all the Facebook comments saying how awful the whole event was.  I don't deny there were a lot of improvements to be made.  It's a shame that for my first half marathon I experienced what has been labeled as a disaster of a race.  However, to an extent I think people are blaming way more on the race than is fair.  All the people getting sick .. I dunno what to say. I drank at least 36 ounces of water that came from the race course during the race.  I did not get sick. However, I also didn't party the night before and managed my pre-race behaviors well.  I think there's a lot to be said for those things.  I think it was an easy way for people to blame the race organizers for perhaps some bad choices they personally made along the way.  That includes people complaining about being sick because of the cold .. etc. 

I am so glad I did the race.  Rebecca and I had such a fun girls weekend.  I'm on the fence about whether I would do another Rock 'n Roll Event.  Besides all the obvious chaos I wasn't impressed with the music. I would much rather hear bands doing cover songs than their own.  Literally one mile in I put my earphones in because the music just sucked.  Many of the bands we passed weren't even playing, they just had music coming from speakers.  It was a disappointment because I LOVE music.  But I would be much more motivated by great songs that I know, rather than songs by bands that haven't even made a name for themselves yet.

So yes .. it was awesome and even with all the bad stuff I'm so glad we did it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trotting Like a Turkey

At the last minute .. we're talking a couple days before we registered for a Turkey Trot.
I had 5 miles on my training plan for Thanksgiving.
Something told me this would be the best way to ensure I did some running.
I am still amazed that in less than a year I've gone from thinking, my 5K goal was to run the whole way.
No walking.  That was it.

And now, in less than a year I think about 3.1 miles and I think EASY.

Well sort of.

Anyway .. I digress.
Registered for my first ever Turkey Trot.
Running with my husband, brother and sister in law, and her parents.
However, at 6:30am on Thanksgiving morning it really wasn't feeling like my best idea ever!

Rachel, Evan, myself, Jeramie, Laurie, Mark

Woke up to this pretty sunrise.

And my brother surprised me with these bad boys.
Look at them sexy Howard legs!!!

Jeramie and Evan.  Always good for a laugh.

 He doesn't run with me often.  But it's fun when he does.
I'm still trying to turn him into a runner.

Do you know what I hate about race photos?
Because races are always first thing in the morning I never have any make-up on.
My face looks dead to me!!!

Race day outfit.  With my turkey legs!

So on to the results!
The BEST thing about this race was that my brother was running.
He's I dunno .. 6 foot 4 inches or something like that.
AND he's 11 years my junior.

He was my rabbit!!

Since I haven't been doing any speed training at all I wasn't really sure how hard I could push it.
And I had no intention of pushing it too hard because I had 1 week of training left before Vegas.
I did not want to injure myself.

My official results:
Time:  28:56.0
#15 in my age group
160 of 1825 women
Pace:  9:20.0
I got a PR without really planning to!!!

Jeramie's results:
Time:  28:55.8
I registered him in the Clydesdale division.
He placed #20.
If he had run in his age group he would have placed #30.

Evan's results:
Time:  28:19.0
#53 in his age group
Pace:  9:08.1

Now considering I'm 11 years older than Evan and 5 years older that Jeramie ...
well I'm feeling really good about my race!!

I have Evan to thank though.
If I wasn't chasing his super short red shorts I wouldn't have run as strong.

And I felt really strong too.  My legs were strong.  My lungs were good.
It was a great run!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Freaking Scary!

So, it's finally happened.  I had my first kind of scary running experience.  I do most of my weekday training alone running along the river trail that runs behind my work.  I try not to go the same time on the same days so I'm not too predictable.  This week I only had one run to do from work as I'm now off the rest of the week.  Ironically enough last week I had said to one of my female co-workers that I just wanted to let her know my routine if ever I didn't come back from my run. I wanted her to know what direction I run and that I should never be gone more than 1.5 hours.  That if I am to ask one of 3 other runners in our Accounting Department to head out there and look for me.  We kind of laughed about it a little but she also took it very serious.  One of the precautions I always take is I text my husband when I'm leaving work and when I get back.  And I always tell him which direction I'm running (there are two).  I run with music but it's really low and I make a very conscious effort to always be aware of my surroundings.  When running alone I always run the same direction which is more populated and also near some neighborhoods.  I tend to see some of the same folks out there on a pretty regular basis.  I always look people in the eye and say hello when I pass.

Well yesterday was really no different.  Tyler (one of my running buddies at work) was still in a meeting as I was getting ready to head out.  He said he would try and run fast to catch up to me as soon as he was finished.  Heading out alone was no big thing.  It's what I normally do anyway.  Tyler and I have only run together two other times.  He's faster and I feel like I slow him down.  So off I went .. and so it began.

Pretty early in my run I passed a guy riding his bike.  I didn't think anything of it, he was headed in the opposite direction.  I trotted on.  As I was 3/4 of the way through a short tunnel that runs under the road at one point there was a loud noise that scared the crap out of me.  It was the guy on the bike again.  All he had done was ride over the drainage system which made a loud noise which of course echoed in the tunnel.  While the noise scared me at the time it wasn't THAT abnormal for the guy to be headed back the direction he came.  Perhaps he was just doing an out and back like I was.  As he passed me this second time I noted in my head that he was wearing black basketball shorts, a black backpack, dark sweatshirt.  He had a bottle of Off bug spray in the mesh pocket of his pack.  He was riding a beach cruiser kind of bike. 

As I came through the other side of the tunnel there is a park as soon as you come out.  The same guy had stopped and fetched a water bottle out of his pack.  As this is now the 3rd time I'm passing the same guy I'm starting to throw up some "stranger danger" guards.  At this point I'm thinking it COULD be a coincidence but I don't have a good feeling about it and I will be watching for him over my shoulder now.  After awhile sure enough bicycle boy passed me a 4th time.  After he passes now he starts zig zagging in front of me.  You know, like he was intentionally NOT going fast.  I slow my pace down more because I really would prefer to keep him in my sights in front of me.  I want plenty of distance between us.  After about five minutes of this he pulls onto the side of the path again.  This will now be the FIFTH time I've passed him.  He hops off his bike and has now starting stretching his legs.  At this point I'm really starting to get freaked out and thinking about what is my best option to get out of this unsafe feeling situation.  I had a few options. I could turn around and run back, although there's no question he could catch up to me if he wanted to.  I can run past him, because just on the other side of him is a big open park and I could lap the park to finish my mileage.  Plus there's usually people at the park so I wouldn't be alone.  Or I could run to the park and then hit the road after and take the road route back to work.  It will be out of my way but I'll definitely be safe there.  So I headed to the park and figured if Tyler hadn't caught up to me I would hit the road and run back.  At this point I'm really not even sure that Tyler had headed out behind me. But I had my phone so if I stopped I could have called him.  I then watch as the guy starts jogging next to his bicycle while holding it's seat.  It was WEIRD.  He had taken the dirt trail that ran in towards the river some, while I stayed on the paved walkway.  I now entered the park and I keep turning to look over my shoulder when eventually I see bicycle boy head back towards the paved walkway.  I know that I will not continue on now.  This will be like the 6th time he has now passed me and it is no longer a coincidence.  He's really stalking me and all my intuition tells me this isn't a safe situation.  Right at that moment I see one lone runner break through the trail into the park.  To my relief it was Tyler!!  I have never been so happy to see him in my whole entire life!  He cut across the park to catch up to me.  I then tell him the story of the weirdo who now passes the two of us running together.  At one point bicycle boy literally turns his whole head around to check if I'm still running with someone.  It was SO obvious! 

In all my runs along this same route I have never encountered someone that was so obvious with their following me, waiting for me, then turning around repeatedly.  It truly was scary.  In a way I'm glad that I was paying attention like I always do.  And I'm glad I remained calm and had multiple options of getting out of the dangerous situation.  Tyler is convinced he just wanted to hit on me or something. But I'm not so sure.  Either way I stopped on my way home from work that night (last night) and bought me some pepper spray.  I will run with this from now on, anytime I'm running alone or with a girlfriend.

I will feel safer. While I realize this won't save my life or anything, I do think that given the efforts I take to be aware of my surroundings and pay close attention to the people I pass will all work together to keep me as safe as possible when running alone.  I know that from now on if my running buddy is possibly going out the same day I will make more of an effort to coordinate with him to run together rather than alone.

Another thought I had while I was running that day (and this was prior to crazy stalker dude), I really should take off my wedding rings when I run.  The last thing I need is someone attacking me just to rob me or something.  I figure the more I can reduce the temptation for someone to bother me the better off I'll be.

I'm a pretty strong and independent woman.  It irks me to no end that JUST because I am female that I have to worry about this kind of thing.  Men can head out whenever they want on their own for a run and really never have to worry about being attacked or raped.  It's not fair that as a woman I have to worry about these kinds of things.  In fact it really pisses me off.

Anyway, live and learn I suppose.  It was a scary experience, there's no question about that.  I definitely thing someone was watching over me that Tyler turned up when he did.  His timing couldnt' have been more perfect.  On the way back my heart rate took a sky rocket up and I actually had to stop running for a minute to bring it back down.  I think it was the release of those extra hormones into my system from the scary encounter that did it.  I had a similar experience when I was in the hospital after one of my babies was born and that's what the nurse had told me.  However, it didn't help that I'd been reading that morning about the 2 guys that died after the Philly Marathon. I mean seriously 21 years old  and you die from running 13.1 miles!  I'm thinking what the hell??!  It didn't help that I was also talking while running, so my breathing was irregular.  A combination of bad stuff I tell you!

When I walked back into my office I found this on my desk ....

Umm .. thank YOU!  Just what I needed. One of my employee's works part time at a fancy cupcake shop.  Delicious!  Oh and to top it off I got some major stares when I walked into the hunting store that night on my way home to buy my pepper spray .. lol.  The ladies behind the counter looked at me like I was lost.  Then there were two guys that literally laughed AT me. I know it was the fact that I was totally looking out of place in my short skirt (with leggings) and high heeled shoes.  THEN as I was walking into the hunting store some kid approaches me and tells me he just got out of DETOX and needs some money for the train.  REALLY?  I was kind of wishing I had the pepper spray right then, as this guy made me uncomfortable too!

Holy CRAP what a day!!!!

Live and learn ... live and learn.

Does anyone have any good tips for running alone??

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 10 - Recap

I was a blogging failure this last week.  It was a crazy week at work and I just didnt' feel like I had anything of interest to share.  Today's post isn't really interesting per se.  However, as I come to a close of my official training plan I know I need to document these last couple of weeks.  So we'll jump right into the recap of my training this week:

Monday - Yoga.  Complete.  I had both my big boys clamoring to join me on my yoga mat.  Wyland is actually quite proficient at his yoga poses. Jackson is a little more lazy about it.  But it's cute seeing them want to exercise with me.

Tuesday - 5 miles.  Complete.  Ran outside and it was a gorgeous day!  I think I passed the entire Accounting Department as I was headed back in to the office.  They were all trying to get their slice of the beautiful running weather pie!

Wednesday - 3 miles.  Done and was easy.

Thursday - 5 miles.  By Thursday's I'm normally feeling a little more tired. But this week I really focused on enjoying my runs.  This one also felt easy.

Saturday - 60 min Cross.  Fail. 

Sunday - 9 miles.  Complete.  I was really excited about this weeks run.  I mean, NINE miles!  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 .. umm that's a LOT!  And dare I say this one did not feel hard.  My BFF Rebecca has been kind of side lined with an ITB / Hamstring injury the past couple weeks.  I am so bummed for her.  She's worked so hard to run this race with me and was really looking forward to it. But today she came out anyway and rode her bike next to me the whole nine miles. We talked the entire time and it's my favorite run together to date.  The time flew by as we chatted.  Plus she said it felt like I was running fast because it was easier riding next to me than she expected it would be.  Well really I wasn't running fast but it was such a nice run.  I'm actually not worried at all at this point about my ability to complete 13.1 miles 2 weeks from today.  I know I'm going to do great.  And even with the injury I have a suspicion that Rebecca is still going to do much better than she expects. 

Lessons this week:  One thing I really tried to focus on this week was making sure that I didn't go out fast on ANY of my runs.  I actually didn't focus a lot on pace at all.  And I feel this really worked well for me.  Same thing with my long run today. I think it was the difference between feeling tired at the end and not.  I know the biggest thing I will focus on in Vegas is not getting too caught up in the excitement that I go out too fast.  I hope to help Rebecca do the same.  I also made a conscious effort to hydrate yesterday and not eat a total garbage meal last night for dinner.  I think perhaps all these things combined made for a very successful long run this week and I plan to repeat these habits next weekend.

So coming up this week:

Week 11

Monday ~ Yoga
Tuesday ~ 5 Miles
Wednesday ~ 3 Miles
Thursday ~ 5 Miles
Friday ~ Rest (or Black Friday Shopping!)
Saturday ~ 60 min Cross
Sunday ~ 10 Miles and MY BIRTHDAY!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 8 Recap

This was a self portrait taken just after my long run last week.

Well that's another week checked off the list.
Felt good.  I don't know why 8 miles felt like some sort of milestone.
But it did.
Next week is a bit of a taper week which will feel nice.
My next big milestone is going to be 10 miles.  Which coincidentally falls on my 37th birthday!
What a great day that will be.  My last long run prior to Vegas.
And my birthday.
I LOVE my birthday.

Okay so on to the recap of Week 8:

Monday:  Yoga.  Fail.  It was Halloween and I just didn't have time to do it.

Tuesday:  4.5 miles, complete.  I was a little nervous this morning.  I woke up to rain turning into snow.  Then it cleared by lunch time so off I went.  It turned out to be an awesome run too.  I felt really strong.  Maybe it was that extra rest day.

Wednesday:  3 miles, complete.  Another good one.  All my weekday runs were done from work this week.  As we slide into the colder months running at the warmest part of the day is a wonderful thing. It will be very interesting once we turn hot again how I do.  I can't imagine I'll be running at lunchtime when it's 100 degrees outside.

Thursday:  4.5 miles, complete.  I ran with a co-worker this day.  A BOY *gasp*.  He's a cool cat.  He's married as well and his wife runs.  While I actually really love my solo runs, normally I only run with a partner on Sunday's.  But he's nice to run with.  We run north on the trail, which is the opposite direction than I normally run by myself.  He told me the first time we went out that he wouldn't recommend running north because he's seen more bums and stuff.  So I never do.  The other nice thing about running with him occasionally is that he pushes me to run faster. It's nice to know that I can run 4.5 miles and maintain my almost 5K pace the whole time. I was out of breath a lot with the chatting and faster pace.  But it was definitely a confidence booster.

Friday:  Rest, complete.  I did a lot of shopping this day!  Running Warehouse had 25% off of the sale price of everything already on sale.  I got some great Christmas presents and I also ordered my anniversary present (thanks Honey!).  I'll share my purchases when they arrive this week.

Saturday:  50m Cross Train, another FAIL.  Seriously I need to work on this big time.  Even if it's just going out for a walk with my daughter.

Sunday:  8 miles, DONE.  Rebecca and I headed out feeling strong and ready for the 8 miles ahead.  Rather than our normal 7am we headed out at 9am this morning.  It was much warmer. I wore my newish Brooks running tights.  And my legs were golden!  I felt so warm. Not like last week when I was chilled to the bone when I got home.  I was amazed and what a difference the pants were.  I noticed as I was cutting the tags off last night that they said ideal for less than 40 degrees. I didn't realize that they were designed to be that warm when I got them. Or maybe I did and forgot because I bought them awhile ago thinking I was going to need them sooner.  What a great purchase. These babies will get me through this Utah Winter for sure.  I wore my coat this morning too and ended up taking it off at the halfway point.  We also tried some Honey Stinger gummies.  They were tasty. I liked that they weren't as gooey as the Clif Shot Bloks and GU Chomps.  My legs took a LONG time to warm up this morning though, that kind of sucked. I don't think I felt truly good until after the halfway point.  But we were also running into a pretty strong headwind on the way out too.  That didn't help either.  All in all it was a good run and I felt strong.  It felt like a bit of a challenge that last mile, I could tell my legs were getting a little tired. But we finished strong.  I came home and popped some Ibuprofen and am still wearing my CEP Calf Compression Sleeves. 

Observations for the Week:  Eating a egg white breakfast burrito in the morning before I go to work seemed to work really well for me this week.  I wasn't quite hungry for another meal before my noontime run, but I also wasn't trying to scarf down a yogurt real quick before I have to head out to run.  I'll keep doing that this week.

WOW .. we're almost there!!

Week 9:

Monday ~ Yoga
Tuesday ~ 5 Miles
Wednesday ~ 3 Miles
Thursday ~ 5 Miles
Friday ~ Rest
Saturday ~ 50m Cross Train
Sunday ~ 10K

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Experimenting with Fuel

As of a couple weeks ago I have begun experimenting with fuel.
It's kind of exciting knowing that I now need to do this.
Since that means that I'm running longer.
Which in turn means I'm logging more miles.

I know that I need to figure out what works and what doesn't before Vegas.
So I purchased an assortment of things to try.
By the way .. the size of these things would make for GREAT stocking stuffers.
Too bad my kids wouldn't like them.

So far I've tried the Nuun (Grape and Tropical), both were good.
The Clif Shot Bloks (Strawberry), YUM.
GU Chomps (Blueberry), good.

I'm very intimidated by the GU Energy Gels.
But I can't imagine not liking the Sport Beans.
Because really, who doesn't like Jelly Beans?

I've also been trying to get used to running with a handheld bottle.
I went with an Amphipod Hydraform Handheld, 20 oz bottle.
Before that I had tried a smaller bottle and I don't know whether it was the hot day,
the fact that it was the first time, or the style bottle .. but I hated it.
The Amphipod however is just fine.
I kind of would like to give an Amphipod fuel belt a try, but we'll see.

For now the experimenting is going well.  Nothing has been gross or upset my stomach.

Does anyone have anything extra good they would like to recommend?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week 7 - Check

I can't believe we're down to less than 5 weeks before Vegas.
This week was pretty easy.
I really love the structure of having a training schedule.
And I know without a race hanging over my head I would not have the willpower to stick with it.

Week 7 Recap:

Monday:  Yoga
This was pretty easy. I popped in my Jillian Michael's DVD and just did it.

Tuesday:  Run 4.5
I hit the trail at lunch time from work.  My legs felt really strong for a Tuesday.  Usually I feel sluggish on Tuesday's.  I saw a guy from work on my way back. I said hi, he said nothing.  That always makes me mad when people can't be polite.

Wednesday:  Run 3
I really tried to focus on not thinking about the short distance. I don't know what it is about my Wednesday runs but they always seem so much longer than they should be.

Thursday:  Run 4.5
I rocked this one.  Felt awesome.  Had the right amount of layered clothes on.  I'm now always running in long sleeves midday.  Which means since I don't have a ton of long sleeve gear I'm doing more laundry which kind of sucks.

Friday:  Rest Day
And rest I did.

Saturday:  Cross Training 50 minutes
FAIL.  I did no cross training. In fact the husband and I went on a date.  I had a delicious Bleu Bacon Burger (I know I know, not good for me) and went to see Footloose.  It was awesome!

Sunday:  Run 7
I felt strong going into this run.  It's a distance PR for me, but I was 100% confident I would complete it with no problem.  I ran with my friend Rebecca.  It was dark when we started out but lightened up quickly. But it was darn cold the whole time.  Like 37 degrees cold.  I was shivering when I got home.  I don't think that the burger helped my tummy that morning.  I definitely felt a tad bit queasy but all was well and all the cookies stayed where they should have.  I was a little cold most of the run so next week I will dress warmer for sure.  I may have to give my long pants a try.

I seriously have been trying to get this post written all darn week!

Week 8:

Monday ~ Yoga
Tuesday ~ Run 4.5
Wednesday ~ Run 3
Thursday ~ Run 4.5 + Strength Train
Friday ~ Rest Day
Saturday ~ 50 min Cross Train
Sunday ~ Run 8

Friday, October 28, 2011

Who me??

It's a milestone for me.  I have never been "tagged" in anyone's blog before.  Thanks Jen for tagging me.  Jen's blog was one of the first running blogs I came across.  And I enjoy reading hers a lot on a daily basis.  She has a cute daughter that she writes about too and we share a love for Biggest Loser.

The rules of this nomination are:  Tell my readers seven random things about myself as well as pass on the award to seven other great bloggers.

Nominees, in order to accept this award you must:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you
2. Write seven random things about yourself.
3. Award seven other awesome and inspiring bloggers.

So on to the good stuff, 7 random things about myself:

1.  I was born in England.  Not because I was an Army brat or anything.  That's just where my family is from.  To this day I am not an American citizen.  I'm a good 'ole Green Card holder.  The picture in my blog header is one that I took on a recent visit to England.

2.  They filmed the original Beverly Hills 90210 at my high school in Torrance, CA (I moved to Cali when I was 6 years old).  I was also in a couple episodes as an "extra".  Kinda cool if you grew up in the 90210 / Melrose Place era.

3.  I met Princess Diana when I was a little girl.  Shook her hand and everything.  (Also, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II)

4.  I love living in Salt Lake City.  It's seriously a great place to live.  While I am not Mormon (a common first question when people learn where I live) and I don't have any "sister wives" it's a gorgeous place to live and the people here are really nice.

5.  I hate cross training.  Since I no longer have a gym membership I feel like my cross training options are limited.  I really need to get a gym membership again!

6.  Even though I love living in SLC, I would still take the beach over the mountains hands down.

7.  While I haven't even run my first half marathon (however I will be in a few weeks), I'm already thinking about how I would like to run a full marathon one day.  Preferably before I turn 40.  That would be my next big goal.

Tag you're it, while I don't personally know any of your face to face, I really enjoy each of your blogs:

Kimberly at Healthy Strides
Carrie at Family Fitness Food
Fancy Nancy at Living the Dream
Rachelle at Running for Trevor
Amanda at Runninghood
Amanda at Run to the Finish

I don't think most of these lovely ladies know about my little blog. But I read all theirs and think they're great!  So pop over and say hello.  I'm also linking up with Jill today for Fitness Friday Blog Hop, pop over there too and share some comment loves.

Do any of you have some tips for making cross training more fun?