Oct 31, 2011

Getting Closer to Accomplishing Another Goal!

I completed my second week of my new training plan which now includes speed work and a couple days of cross training per week. I was able to hit all of my target times and completed all of my workouts. I also managed to squeeze two days of cross training in which is incredible for me since my schedule is really hectic. 

Week #2 Recap:

Monday: XT#1: 45 minutes on stationary bike= 16.2 miles

Tuesday: Speed Work= 4 miles

Wednesday: XT#2: 45 minutes on stationary bike= 16.3 miles

Thursday: REST

Friday: Tempo Run=7.71 miles (was actually a long run gone bad)

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 15 miles

Total Mileage=59.21 (26.71 of those miles were running)

I have noticed some new aches and pains here and there and I think the speed work has something to do with it.  I am not used to it so I am hoping that my body adjusts quickly and that I don't end up with a new injury to hold me back!  I have been using Salonpas patches to deal with the minor aches and pains but I am beginning to look like a weirdo walking around with ten  of these pain patches all over my body! I have some areas that I need to work on, my long runs in particular. I have to work on running a slower pace on my long runs.  I am not used to running at such a slow pace but I know that time is not so important on the long runs and my focus should be on building my endurance. Sometimes I just want to get the long runs over with so I can start my day so I tend to go a little faster than I should.

One of my Running Goals is to run 1000 miles in 2011.  I just realized that I am really close to meeting/exceeding that goal. As of 10/31, I have banked 934.36 miles!  I think I can actually meet this goal in the month of November!  Oh how I love meeting my Running Goals!!  I get really excited to say the least!

I am looking forward to this week and the new challenges that my training is  bringing me!  I might have to attend jury duty later this week so I am hoping to get an early morning or late afternoon spin class in to change things around! I love feeling challenged and I am hoping to see some improvements in my next marathon. My first 10K is just a couple of weeks away and I will be running it with no real goal in mind but just wanting to see where I stand at this particular distance.

How did your week go?  Were you able to squeeze all of your planned workouts in?

Having a little fun at work for Halloween!
Have a Happy Halloween!!!

Oct 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thursday!  It's actually like a Friday for me because I  work a 9/80 schedule and I love it!  I have a few things that I wanted to share with everyone because I am excited about them..
1) I finally registered for a 10K!  I will officially be running my first 10K on November 13, 2011!  I registered for the Mission Inn Run and since it's my first 10K it's going to be an instant PR no matter how good/bad it turns out!
2) I updated my Race Schedule and I am overloading myself excited for 2012.  I have quite a few races from 5K's to marathons that I am hoping to participate in.  I haven't committed to all of them quite yet but I am really hopeful that I can squeeze them all in and see some progress!  I am also hoping to redeem myself in Long Beach so wish me luck! I need to stay injury free and make some changes to my training so that I can earn some PR's and move a little bit closer to that BQ that I have been dreaming of!!

No pain...no gain!!
3) Speedwork is not fun! I have decided that I am not a big fan of speedwork because it kicks my butt and challenges the heck out of me!  I tried it for the first time this week and I just about died and thought I was going into cardiac arrest! I know that it is going to payoff for me in the long run because it is hard as hell!  I don't have a track close to my house so my neighbors are probably wonder why I am running up the down the street numerous times gasping for air! I need to be a faster and stronger runner so I am determined to do whatever it takes to get me there!  No more junk mileage!! I am determined to make each run count...quality over quantity, right?

So is anybody doing any fun races for Halloween? Are you running in a fun costume? 

Oct 24, 2011

Speedwork, Tacos and Great Deals!

Thank you to everyone who replied to my post about change needed in my training plan!  SPEEDWORK seems to be the most common response to the questions. I am taking your great advice and will now be incorporating speedwork into my training starting this week!  I have a new training plan that I will be following for my next marathon in February, 2012 and believe me, speedwork is definitely a part of it.  I am optimistic that I will see some improvement which will result in a marathon PR!
My long run this week was for a whole 13 miles.  It was the longest run I have completed since my marathon on October 9th.  It felt good to get back out there and start working towards another goal that will bring me a little bit closer to my goal of a BQ.  I am not sure how long I will be chasing Boston but I am determined to get there someday!

My Friday night was pretty fun.  The whole gang took the 45 minute trip to eat carne asada tacos at our favorite taco truck, El Taquito!  I used to live out that way so I grew up eating these tacos.  I ate four tacos and had an agua de pina(pineapple water) to wash it all down. It was delish and then we finished the night off at Yogurtland.  We actually hit up two locations in search of different flavors that we had never tried before. We did find Kona Coffee Blend, Taro and Matcha Green Tea, so my husband took advantage of these flavors and the rest of us waited until the next stop to get ours since they did not have two of my favorites. I had my usual, Red Velvet Cupcake Batter, Devil's Food Cupcake Batter and Pistachio topped off with almonds and walnuts! My daughter and her boyfriend had never been to Yogurtland before so they over-indulged.  Can you guess which ones belong to them?

Buster is still here and boy did he have a surprise waiting for us when we got home on Friday night.  I usually leave him in the garage when I am going to gone for a while but on Friday night he was not having it. When we got home we discovered that Buster had bitten his way through the security screen door and made his way into the house.  I am not sure how he did it but he did!! He did some damage to his little mouth so I think we got the message...Buster wants to be in the house and not the garage! We have been honoring his request as long as he stays in his designated area and he has been good so far.

Buster destroyed the security screen door!!
Notice the redness around his mouth!  Poor Buster!
Buster was hiding out after that episode!!
Other than Buster's incident, I had a pretty relaxing weekend and did my long run in Bonelli Park early Saturday morning which resulted in a pretty lazy Sunday. I missed church and stayed in bed watching David Tutera's "My Fair Wedding."  I think I might have even fallen asleep for a bit here and there!  I can't wait to see Chic Runner's wedding on the show which is due to air in February, 2012. 

Deal of the week!
After my run on Saturday, I took care of all my errands like grocery shopping, pet food shopping and the boys got their haircut.  I also stopped by Kohl's to see what they had and ended up scoring a pretty good deal on some Nike running shorts. They were on clearance for $6.00 and I had a coupon for another 30% off, which resulted in a pretty good deal...$4.20 each!  DEAL!!  I was pretty excited about it since running clothes can be pretty pricey in the absence of a good sale or coupon.

I am excited that the weather has finally decided to cool down a little bit this week since it makes my training a little easier.  The temperature has been in the upper 80's to low 90's lately so the change is appreciated. 

Have a great week!

Oct 17, 2011

Change is Good and Weekend Recap

After finishing two marathons in about the same time, I think that it is time to change things around and incorporate a new training plan for my third marathon. I have committed to running the Surf City Marathon on February 5, 2012.  Yes, it falls on Super Bowl Sunday but I should be done and home in time to watch the game and eat a bunch of junk food!

Up until now, my training has mainly been 90% running and 10% cross training.  I go to spin class once in a while, I lift weights once in a while, I do some push-ups here and there but no real set schedule or commitment.  I definitely need to start doing some speed work and incorporating more long runs! I know that Boston is a long ways away for me but I have consulted with the McMillan Running website to see what I should be capable of doing before I can even imagine that running Boston is going to happen for me in this lifetime!

After reading these numbers I realized that I have some work to do. In some distances, I am close but in others it's a long shot!  In order to prepare myself to realistically finish a marathon in 3:45, these are the equivalent race times:

5K: Current PR is 24:16 and I need to be able to run a 23:05.

10K: I have never ran a 10K and I need to able to run a 47:57.  I guess I better sign up for one soon!

Half Marathon: Current PR is 1:47:43 and I need to be able to run a 1:46:41.

Marathon: Current PR is 4:05:16 and I would love to qualify for Boston with a 3:45 or better...one day before I die!

My new training plan starts this week since I am, as of yesterday, 16 weeks away from my next marathon.  I have a ton of small races from now until then to keep me busy but I need to conquer this darn 4:05 marathon finishing time!! I am running most of my races for the rest of the year for fun but will be incorporating them as part of my training whenever possible.

Besides losing another toenail and running my first 5K, I put in an additional five miles the following morning to ease the guilt before heading to IHOP to take advantage of the "Never Ending Pancake" promo.

My husband finally put my medal hanger up that he gave me for my birthday. I didn't allow him to hang it up until I had a few medals to display! It is placed on a wall that is clearly visible when I go upstairs so it reminds me to keep striving for my goals!  I love it!! (Thank You Honey!) My son hung his first medal up along with mine.  His is the one with the little octopus.

What am I going to do with Buster?
Buster's owner has yet to come forward and claim him! He is just getting more and more comfortable as you can see. Tomorrow marks two weeks since he ran home with me.
Now it's time for a Q&A session from all of you wonderful and talented people who pull off PR's without even really trying!  Your feedback is really appreciated!

1. Does anybody have any tips on how they have shaved some major minutes off of their finishing times?

2. What have you incorporated into your training that has paid off for you?

3. What about hiring a running coach?  What are the benefits?

Oct 16, 2011

Matthew Myers Memorial Run-My First 5K

I have always kind of avoided running 5K's because I am a slow starter and need time to get my body going. Having that said, I was thinking that my 5K finishing time would be disappointing so it may not be worth doing.  Since I have been mentally kicking around the idea of signing up for a 5K, I finally gave in and signed up for one.  I registered for a really small, local race with 906 total participants.  The race was held in memory of Matt Myers, a Cal Poly student who was hit by a car on the campus. 

The race also benefits a scholarship fund for Cal Poly Pomona students so those were the main reasons I decided to participate.  Did I mention that it was only $15.00?  They gave t-shirts and a tumbler but medals were only given to the top three finishers in each age group.

The race was scheduled to start at 8am so I left my house at 6:30am to get some oatmeal at Starbucks before the race.  I arrived at the campus around 7:00am and sat in my car and ate my breakfast.  It was a short two minute walk to the registration area, which was nice, so I picked up my bib and waited it out. The weather was pretty cool, about 60 degrees, and the sun was still hiding behind the clouds. The campus is very hilly so I was kind of prepared for a somewhat challenging course. 

They announced that the race was going to start ten minutes late since they had lots of late registrations so I took one last trip to the bathroom.  It was a real bathroom too...thank God because I hate the portables!

Cal Poly mascot "Billy Bronco" cheered us on!

This was the START.
The first mile was uphill and it worked me out to say the least. My pace up until the steepest part of the hill was 7:30 but I didn't want to kill myself so I slowed it down. I lost a lot of speed getting up that hill and ended up at 7:54.  I grabbed a cup of water from the one and only water stop on the course, stretched out my injured leg and kept going. Mile two started to descend so I was able to gain some of the lost time back and closed out mile 2 at 7:30.  The last mile was the hardest because I was already feeling a bit tired and thirsty!  I usually carry my own water but since it was only a 5K I figured that I could survive without it.  I gave it my all in the end and closed mile 3 out at 7:43.  I finished in 24:16.  One of current Running Goals is to complete a 5K in under 24:00 so I missed that goal by 17 seconds.  I wasn't at all disappointed because I didn't have any real expectations in mind with my achilles still feeling a little tender. I was actually prepared to walk if I my body told me that I needed to. I grabbed some water and some oranges and rested for a minute. They also offered free hot dogs but I am not a big hot dog fan so I passed.

I stuck around for the awards ceremony since they were raffling off an iPad 2 at the very end.  I watched the military guys doing push up and sit up contests to pass the time since I was by myself.

Unfortunately I didn't win the iPad 2 but I did finish first in my age group!! I was super shocked when they called my name since my time was not very impressive!! I feel like I got lucky because it was such a small race but hey I will take it. It's always nice to add another medal to your collection! I need some positive reinforcement in my running world after my disappointing finish in Long Beach last week. I am not sure if I should count this one or not, but one of my Running Goals is to win a race in my age group and I did! I think I will count it since my running moral is kind of low right now!

I decided to treat myself to Yogurtland after the race.  I sampled just about every flavor they had since I had never been there before.  Every flavor was so delish but I ended up going with Red Velvet Cupcake Batter, Devil's Food Cupcake Batter, Mango,  and Pistachio. I added pecans and walnuts on top and it was so yummy.  Yogurtland was really reasonably priced so I think I will take a break from my expensive cupcake habit and try the fro-yo thing.  There are so many other flavors that I want to try the next time I go....which would probably be tomorrow!

Yes, we indulged!

Have a great week!!

Oct 14, 2011

My First 5K!

I am excited to share that I woke up this morning without all of the marathon soreness that has been plaguing me for the last four days. I have been hating the stairs in my house!  My achilles tendon is still very tender to the touch but not bothering me when I walk so it's getting better!  I have been faithfully icing, foam rolling, and popping Advil and it seems to be helping. I think I will be joining "Advil Anonymous" really soon!! I think I am ready to starting breaking myself back into my usual running routine so I am going to run/walk my first 5K, Matt's Run, tomorrow morning at my college campus.

"Matt’s Run is an event to celebrate the life of Matthew Myers, a young man who lost his life in an accident on campus in 2005. Matt was an avid runner, and the run/walk in his honor is designed to bring the community together to keep his memory and passion alive."

I definitely won't be running this 5K for time since the campus is incredibly hilly!  I get exhausted walking from the parking lot to my classes so I am going to be doing a lot of walking and really doing this run in honor of Matt.  I didn't know Matt personally but by participating in the Matthew Myers Memorial 5K Walk/Run, I will be doing my part to support the Matthew Myers Scholarship, designed to help those determined to walk their course in the midst of difficulties to achieve an education.

It will be a nice change to paticipate in a race that is stress/pressure free and to honor a young man who lost his life doing something that we all love and he loved too!

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Oct 12, 2011

Long Beach International City Bank Marathon: 10/9/11

Weather Report: 58 at the Start and 75 at the Finish 
The Course: The course was pretty flat and Miles 17-18 within the Cal State Long Beach campus are a little hilly but not that bad at all. They just sneak up on you when you are starting to feel the pain!
Race Report

The day had finally come and I was ready for it but a little worried about the Achilles tendinitis that had struck me one week before the race.  I decided that I would run the marathon regardless of the pain because it was not bad enough to stop me.  I got my carbs loaded in at Olive Garden the night before and took advantage of the never ending pasta bowl for $8.95!  I also visited Whole Foods for the first time and realized that a small box of hot food can cost you $10.00 if you aren't paying attention!

I had all of my stuff laid out the night before so I wouldn't be all stressed out looking for things in the morning.  I wore something nice and bright so that my husband/photographer and my son/biggest fan could easily spot me.  This outfit looks like something from the collection of Neon Blonde Runner
I ate a banana and half of a bagel and headed to the start which was a hop skip and a jump from our hotel. The weather was beautiful at the start at 6:00am but come 7:00am that sun was out and it warmed up quick!  I attempted to put my headphones into my iphone before the start and to my luck my head phones were not working..bummer! Not a good sign since I use my music to carry me through the rough times! Note to self: try out headphones prior to race day! I was feeling pretty good at the start..nervous but ready!
The Long Beach Hyatt
7:00AM: Hello Sunshine!
The course was great and very scenic.  I really enjoyed it! My favorite parts of the course were running by the Queen Mary and the bike path next to the  ocean/beach. There was a really cool breeze and it was very refreshing.  There were some really young kids running the half marathon and I thought it was pretty cool to see them running such a long distance.  The uncool part was watching them breeze right past me!!
My favorite picture even though I am not in it!

Easy Runner here must be 11-12 years old!
My husband/photographer and my son/biggest fan were there with me at the Start, and also waiting for me at Miles 5-6 and the Finish.  They made me another awesome sign too!  My son made good use of the chair he insisted that I buy him from REI! He hopes that one day I can pick up the pace so he won't have to cart that chair around with him anymore!
My achilles stopped me from even setting any real goal for the day, but in the back of my mind my goal was to run even splits of 9:09 and pick it up in the second half if needed, or should I say if I was still able.  
Although I started to feel a little discomfort in my leg at Mile 15, the first 18 miles were great. I GU'd at Miles 6 and 13 without really feeling that I needed to. I wasn't feeling tired at Mile 18 and I still had the energy to keep going. strong. It was definitely getting warm and I was keeping myself cool by dumping water over my head at the water stops. The volunteers were nice enough to throw water all over me too and then my shorts were glued to my rear!  That didn't feel real comfortable!

I knew that the fatigue would start to hit me around Mile 20 so I was prepared for that to happen but I was not prepared for the pain in my Achilles to hit me so suddenly and unexpectedly when things were going so well!  Shawna/Bandit was waiting for me at Mile 20 but as I was approaching Mile 17 I saw her and yelled out her name and she ran across the street and joined me.  She had no idea that she was joining me three miles too soon!  She thought I was doing great and had already reached Mile 20!  I wish!! Just to clarify, Shawna did pay her registration fees but had to pull out at the last minute due to an injury which caused her to miss too much of our training so she's not really a true Bandit. She does have a bib number!
I'm still smiling here as we leave CSULB!

Miles 1 through 18-The good...
The course was really flat for the most part and the elevation at Mile 17-18 was not as bad as I thought it would be. Those minor inclines changed things for me and were just enough to aggravate my Achilles! I GU'd again at Mile 20 and it didn't kick in! Shawna was being really supportive and hung in there with me. I was able to somewhat keep my composure up until Mile 21 and then I quickly fell apart! 
That would be me!
Miles 19 to 26.2-The bad and the ugly!
The crowd was great but I was so off focus that I wasn't able to  use their energy to push me to the finish line. The crowd in Cal State Long Beach was the best ever and I think I heard my name about 25 times while I was running through the campus.

The 4:00 pace group passed right by us at Mile 24 and it was tough watching them head to the finish when I had been ahead of them the entire race!! I did the best that I could to keep moving the last two miles and thank God that the last couple of miles were down hill!  I sucked it up and  headed to the Finish with my tail between my legs!  It just was not my race and I am still trying to process all of this today! I was on track for a sub four finish and didn't deliver! Shawna was a great support system for me and tried her best to keep me focused in spite of the issues that I was having.  Shawna told me that she uses profanity, gets really mean and cries when she hits the WALL so if I ever run a race with her, I will be running off the course when she starts cussing me out and hitting me!
Why is Shawna smiling while I am dying a slow death behind her?
Shawna exited to the left as I approached the Finish Line. When I looked up and saw the clock at 4:05:35 I wasn't a happy camper.  My watch was showing 4:02:20 so I am not quite sure what happened to my watch during the mess of those last 5.2 miles. My current PR is 4:05:16 and it was pretty painful to miss a PR by 20 seconds.  Even one second would have made me feel better after struggling like I did! I would have powered through it had I not screwed up the time on my Garmin and been aware of what my time really was! My watch had either lost connection or lost it's mind along with me!  It was more than three minutes slower than the official time and I didn't know that until I was crossing the finish line! I have not participated in too many races but the previous two races that I did run have the time posted at each mile marker and I usually compare to make sure that we are on the same page. In any case, I screwed up big time with the whole timing thing!
The look of defeat!
Getting my Medal!
In spite of having a less than perfect race and earning a PW, I didn't let that stop me from making up excuses to eat!  I was in the mood for an In and Out cheeseburger, fries and a vanilla shake. 
I couldn't wait to take a bite before I took the picture!
My son and my husband managed to drink 80% of my vanilla shake for me so I decided to make up for the loss of sugar with these! I only ate two..not all three!

Most people don't even think of running a marathon the day after they finish one, but I did!!  I wanted to go back and fix what happened and make it right but I know that I can't do that and I have to accept defeat when it happens.  I don't like to fail and it's hard for me to swallow!!  All of the elements of a good race seemed to be present for me on Sunday. I can't blame the warm weather, the minor hills of the course, the pain, the nasty blister on my toe, my malfunctioning head phones or anything but myself. It wasn't my race and it wasn't my day!
So what did I learn from this race? I learned that I need to stay focused on the race and my goal. I could have handled this race so many different ways and I think my way of dealing with it was not the best way. I know that Boston is a long ways away for me and I must train harder and push myself harder!  I also need to realize that every race that I run will not always be my best race.  Running a marathon is tough and if you can finish one, you have accomplished something that most people will not experience in their lifetime! I admire Shawna for always bringing me back down to earth and reminding me of these things.
Shawna and Me! Why does she look so refreshed and I look a hot mess??
Family Photo compliments of Shawna!
So, unlike this guy, I will be taking it easy this week...
and spending a lot of time with these three guys...
I have been doing a lot of this too...with Buster. We still have Buster hanging around the house and nobody has claimed him since he ran all the way home with me last Tuesday! He seems to like it at our place if you haven't noticed!
No marathons on the Race Schedule for the remainder of 2011.  I am going to try to enjoy the holidays and run a few small races just for fun! Congratulations to everyone who ran Long Beach and Chicago on Sunday.  We are all winners!!

I've got three words for you Long Beach...I'll be back!!