Thursday Thoughts

I woke up this morning to torrential rain, despite weather.com’s hourly forecast assuring me that there would only be a 50% chance of rain at 6AM.  Ugh.  I’m all for running in the rain (especially when it’s 50 degrees in January), but voluntarily running in a downpour is a bit much.  My mind starts spinning.  How am I going to fit in my tempo run?  I could do it on the treadmill or get to work early so I can leave early and do it then.  Outside running (even at night) trumps treadmill running any day.  Decision made.

I get into work by 7:15AM and manage to spill my coffee not once but twice.  The first time on myself as I juggled 2 bags and an umbrella.  The second time all over my mouse pad.  I dry off the mouse pad, let it air dry, and stick my planner under the mouse.  Ugh.

If today continues this way, at least I have my run to look forward to.

I was out the door for my run by 4:15PM.  I’m not the best after-work runner but I was aiming for 8 miles total, with 6 at MP (8:15-8:20 pace).  Success!  MP splits:  8:17, 8:13, 8:17, 8:19, 8:15, 8:14 <– consistency!

Other random thoughts…

I love Running Times. I just got my first 2 issues in the mail this weekend. Way better than Runners World, if you’re a run nerd like me. No fluff, just good articles with quality information.

I’m not so in love with my Brooks Adrenaline 12s. I know, this is blasphemous. I’ve been wearing them for 2 months now with no issues (note: I’ve been wearing them for 11 years with no issues as well). This past weekend, the right shoe started to rub the inside of my ankle the wrong way. My inner ankle is now swollen and sore. I switched back to my Adrenaline 11s and I’m fine. Comparing the 2 side-by-side you can tell the 12s are cut higher on the inner ankle than the 11s. Waaaah! Now I’m running in an old pair of 11s while my new pair of 12s sit in my closet.

Is anyone else super excited about the Olympic Marathon Trials?  I would love to be in Houston, spectating and soaking it all in!

Is it true there will be no live coverage of the Trials?

Is anyone else having a similar problem with the Adrenaline 12s?

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Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 14 Recap

9/5/11 (Monday)
5 miles tempo
*2 miles at marathon pace:  8:13 and 8:10.  Way too fast…I blame it on the taper crazies!  

Labor Day weekend was wonderful.  I rested, got some stuff knocked off the ol’ to-do list, BBQ’d, and slept.  I slept like a champ…9+ hours each night.  More time spent sleeping = less time for the taper crazies to strike.

And the taper crazies made me order this for Hawk’s Halloween costume.  Sorry, buddy.

MON:  rest
TUE:  6 miles speed (my last speed work of this training cycle!)
WED:  5 miles easy
THU:  6 miles easy
FRI:  10 miles long
SAT:  rest
SUN:  6 miles tempo (4 miles at MP)

A total of 33 miles for the week and 229 miles for the month of August!  That’s a new mileage PR for me!  Damn, I should have ran an extra mile to make it an even 230.

So what’s left?  Two more easy runs…probably 4 miles on Thursday and 3 miles on Friday and lots of marathon prep.  You know…lists, weather checking, and repeating of positive mantras!

Please keep voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger (click here to vote).  Voting ends on Friday, September 9th!  Please vote every day this week! 

Hurricane Irene

We survived Hurricane Irene!  It wasn’t much of a hurricane by the time it hit Philly.  Other than lots of rain, the wind wasn’t too bad.  Luckily, we didn’t lose power or suffer any water damage to our house.  I can’t say the same for my beloved running trail.  It was swallowed up by the Schuylkill River.  Hawk and I went on a little walk yesterday to survey the damage first-hand (I’m a bad blogger and didn’t bring my camera).  Yikes!  I feel terrible for the people that live around there; they had to evacuate.  So I should quit my complaining about finding an alternate running route for the next few days.

I dubbed this past weekend my “getting caught up on life” weekend.  If I’m gonna be stuck inside, why not tackle my to-do list?  On the top of my list was cleaning out my closet and finally hanging this up…

I love it.  It got this back in December and picked out the perfect spot for it (yes, my closet – it’s a large walk-in and I figured it would be out of the way).  I hung half marathons on the end and marathons in the middle.  That’s a lot of races!

My favorite medal would have to be the NJ Marathon.  Pretty classy for Jersey (I kid, I kid).

Hawk didn’t seem too perturbed about the hurricane.

Matt had just finished a day of painting and laid on the floor to take a nap. Hawk couldn't resist.

Matt and I were well stocked with essentials.

Aforementioned painting took place in the kitchen, hence no outlet covers.

We tried to watch the movie True Grit but could not get over Jeff Bridges talking out the side of his mouth.  We literally could not understand a word he said and turned off the movie.  House Hunters was way better anyway.

In running news, I moved my tempo run to Saturday because of the hurricane and ended up doing an easy run.  My legs were NOT in the mood for more MP miles the day after a 22-miler.  So I kept it easy and my super Type A self didn’t seem to mind.  Imagine that.

If you were trapped in the house this weekend because of Irene what did you do?  
Do you watch House Hunters or (even better) House Hunters International?  We are obsessed. 

Please keep voting for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger (click here to vote)!

Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 11 Recap

8/17/11
7 miles speed
*3 x 1600m with 400m rest interval between repeats – all done at 10K pace.

Quick update!  Please, please vote for RTLR for CBS Philly’s Most Valuable Blogger.  Voting is very easy – just 1 click and you’re done.  You can vote once per day (don’t worry I’ll remind ya!).  You can vote here or go to my home page and click on the badge.  THANKS!

We are getting to the very end here, folks.  Last week went very well, probably because it was a drop week and my legs felt rested.

MON: 6 easy
TUE: 7 speed (and my new found love for 10K pace!)
WED:  7 easy
THU:  rest
FRI:  20 (#4 – pretty close to MP too!)
SAT:  rest
SUN:  7 tempo

47 miles for the week!

Taper
I’m taking a different approach with my taper this cycle.   I’m doing the traditional 3 week taper in terms of reducing my overall mileage but I’m doing a 2 week taper in terms of my last long run (22-miler).  This week I hope to hit 55 miles (that will be my max for this cycle) but I’ll only be running 15 miles on Friday.  Next week I’ll keep my mileage in the low to mid-40s but I’ll do a 22-miler.  I think this is going to work out way better mentally for me.  I hate the 3 week lag time between your 22-miler and the race.  I always begin to doubt myself.

Question of the day:  What’s your go-to mantra during a race?  What are you most likely to repeat over and over again to finish strong?  I’ve gotten much better but I used to battle negative thoughts all the time so I began to say “let go” (as in let go of the negativity).  Sounds so silly but it really worked.  I also like “if you think you can, you can.  If you think you can’t, you can’t”.  So true!

Three Things Tuesday

8/16/11
11 miles tempo / 1:33 / 8:27 avg pace
*1 mile warm-up and 10 miles at MP (8:35).  Splits:  8:09, 8:07, 8:11, 8:14, 8:18 – I felt like I was running too fast so I checked my splits and slowed down for the remaining 5 miles – 8:38, 8:37, 8:29, 8:28, 8:25.  

Isn’t it supposed to be Three Things Thursday? Hmm, not sure. Oh well, go with it.

Redemption Tempo
This morning I got a second chance to do a tempo run that I attempted 2 weeks ago. It didn’t go so well the first time but I was able to get some redemption today. The trail was soft and mushy from all the rain, which made it even harder to maintain MP but that’s OK with me. I always want to prepare for the worst case scenario and then, if it’s not so bad, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Does that make me a pessimist or a realist?

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A social network for marathon and endurance runners created by a Philly-based husband and wife team. A Facebook for runners, if you will. Check it out and if you decide to create a profile, make sure you friend me 🙂

Garmin “Pace Smoothing”
Maybe you all knew this but I found out there is a way to minimize how much your pace fluctuates on your Garmin. When I was training for NJM, I was getting annoyed at how often my pace would go from 7:30 to 10:00 to 9:00, etc.  Even though my effort was consistent, my Garmin pace wasn’t. My Garmin is only 2 years old (I have the 305). I looked up the problem and it directed me to something called “pace smoothing”.

Per the Garmin manual, pace smoothing averages your current pace over a certain amount of time to avoid errors in GPS position and speed due to varying satellite signal recognition.  When you turn on or increase pace smoothing, the pace shown on your Forerunner is steadier. It did help, although I still think there could be something wrong with my Garmin since I never had an issue until this year. But I’m too dependent on my Garmin to part with it and get it looked at!

How to “pace smooth” (at least on the 305 model):  mode –> settings –> running –> speed units –> smoothing.  I’m using “most” for the least amount of fluctuation.

Are you addicted to your Garmin?  Can you run without it?  Even better question, can you RACE without it?  No way Jose…I’m addicted!

It’s Monday Again?

8/15/11
7 miles easy…Garmin-free!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  This is the second weekend in-a-row that Matt and I didn’t have to travel anywhere and it was fabulous.

Friday
I had a very early wake-up call (4:30AM) for a 20-miler.  It went well and I felt pretty good throughout the day.  That night, my friends from high school came over.  We sat out on the deck, ate pizza, drank (well, I did most of the drinking), and chatted the night away.  It was so good to see everyone.  We only get together a few times a year and I always look forward to it.

Saturday
I didn’t get to bed until midnight on Friday (super late for this grandma) but, of course, woke-up at 7AM.  Normally that’s “sleeping in” but it was my rest day and I wanted to take full advantage of it.   Oh well.  Matt and I ran some exciting errands (looking for granite countertops and bathrooms floors).  By 5:00, I was a zombie.  We re-watched The Hangover and I was in bed by 9:30.  Don’t judge.

Sunday
It was raining so I donned my hat (the only time I sport a hat, you can see why below) and went outside to run my 7-mile tempo.  I love to run in the rain in the summer – it’s so refreshing.  5 miles at 8:00 pace with a mile WU and a mile CD:  8:19, 8:00, 8:02, 7:54, 8:20.  I dodged puddles and ran in the grass for the first and last tempo miles.

This is a familiar site – soaking wet shorts.  See why I don’t wear a hat?  I think some people have a good head for hats and I do not.  My head is rather large and so is my hair.  And I look like a boy.

hello there, sir

On Sunday afternoon, Hawk had a very special play date!  My friend Michelle brought her daughter, Charlotte, over for a visit.  Charlotte loves dogs so we thought it would be cute to get them together.

the initial introduction

hawk is OK but posing for the camera is way more fun

2 Hawks

who is this small human?

adorable

Question of the day:  did anyone run in the rain yesterday or did you stick to the TM?  Do you like to run in the rain?  I like to run in the mud too.  I need to sign up for one of those mud races.  

20 Miles, Take 4

8/12/11
20 miles / 2:52:52 / 8:38 avg pace

It’s a beautiful day!  When I got back to my car post-run the temp was 67?!  Wow.  Further evidence…my shorts were (somewhat) dry after my run!  If you can’t tell, I’m holding up 4 fingers because this is my 4th 20-miler…obviously.

don't be jealous of my tan

I felt pretty good throughout this run, aside from some GI issues around mile 14.  This is odd for me, usually business is taken care of pre-run (sorry, I mean how else can you talk about this topic?).  Isn’t funny how your GI tract knows exactly where the bathrooms are and notifies you?  OK, movin’ on…

Splits – the first 10 miles.  I was in complete awe of the sunrise this morning (I need to bring my camera – it’s unreal) and you can tell I didn’t start getting serious until mile 6.

image

The second 10 miles.  I’m happy to see I picked up the pace at mile 14.  Mile 19 was an awful hill…but I rebounded nicely with mile 20 🙂

image

So. Happy. To. Be. Done!  Beer and pizza tonight with friends…and we all know how much better it tastes after a long run!

Unrelated question of the day:  I’m thinking of switching to wordpress.org but I need to choose a web host.  Anyone have suggestions?  How is Blue Host?  Has anyone used Revive My Blog?  

Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 10 Recap

8/10/11
7 miles easy / 1:05 / 9:17 avg pace

Thanks for your comments on my running etiquette post.  The verdict?  Those guys were in the wrong and total creepers!

I had to double-check which week I was recapping.  It’s all starting to mush together towards the end.

MON:  7 at marathon pace
TUE:  8 speed
WED:  8 easy
THU:  REST!
FRI:  15 long
SAT:  5 easy
SUN:  10 tempo

53 miles for the week and 6 days of running (normal for me is 5 days per week).  I figured I’d give it a shot but I really prefer 2 rest days.

I was looking over an old post I wrote at the beginning of this training cycle, where I laid out my plans for changing things up and doing things different.  Overall I’m doing pretty good:

  • increase overall mileage — CHECK
  • switching between hill repeats and track workouts — decided against this since I need the speed work to BQ and my long runs are plenty hilly.
  • trail running — CHECK.  Every tempo run has been done on a trail.
  • long runs (do some at LSD and some at MP) — CHECK.  Thanks to the humidity, the choice as to which runs were LSD was made for me 🙂
  • cross-train (yoga and strength train) — FAIL!  I haven’t been to a single yoga class yet and I went to 1 strength training class.
Somehow, I always imagined that running alone could transform my body into this…
 (via)
I’m delusional but I can dream, right?  I know it takes a steady dose of strength training (and good genes) to look like Kara.  So yesterday I did an at-home, completely made-up, 20 minutes of ST.  And it only confirmed that I need to go back to a class. Baby steps, right?

Unrelated question of the day:  what do you use to track your runs?  Daily Mile, etc?  I’m thinking of ditching my excel spreadsheet for something more high tech!

An Ugly Tempo

8/8/11
6 miles easy / 57:50 / 9:38 avg pace

Sunday’s tempo run was downright ugly.  I was supposed to do 1 mile easy and 10 miles at MP (8:35).  I’ve been doing my tempo runs each week on a trail since my marathon has 12 miles of towpath.  All week I kept thinking how good of a practice tempo this would be…really mimicking race day terrain and pace.

The result?  An ugly tempo.  I ended up with 10 miles total – 1 mile warm-up, 6 miles at MP, and 3 miles cool-down.  The only highlight was my MP miles – a complete disaster in terms of consistency – but all at or under MP:  8:09, 8:17, 8:27, 8:09, 8:32, 8:33.

How did this run go from having great potential to ugly?  It makes total sense now…

  • It was ungodly humid…repeat ungodly humid.
  • I was dehydrated.  Matt and I were out and about all day Saturday and I wasn’t drinking enough water.  Then we went to dinner and I had a few beers 🙂  The beers tasted especially good, since I was so thirsty!
  • I didn’t bring any salt caps with me.
  • I didn’t sleep much on Saturday night.  We finally watched Paranormal Activity and I was terrified.  I slept with one eye opened.
  • So…I was tired.  And mentally I just wasn’t there.  I really wanted to be back in bed sleeping.
I can’t be too upset.  My long run was pretty much done at MP pace on Friday.  So I know I cando it.  I’m dropping back a few miles this week so I can rest up for my final 2 weeks before taper time!Let’s end on a positive note.  We ended up going out for Matt’s birthday on Saturday night.  We went to a very causal place so we could sit outside with Hawk.

Hawk enjoyed some ice cubes

Birthday boy

Enough with the pictures

Put me down and let me get back to my ice cubes

Do you like scary movies?  I like them and then regret watching them all the time.  Paranormal Activity was scary but still doesn’t top The Exorcist.  That is hands-down the most terrifying movie I have ever seen.  

Wedding Fun

8/1/11
7 miles / 59:51 / 8:33 avg pace

Another weekend, another wedding!  Let’s start at the beginning…

FRIDAY
Matt and I drove to Baltimore on Friday afternoon.  The wedding was at the beautiful Marriott Waterfront Hotel.  The rehearsal dinner was that night and the bride and groom graciously opened up the event  to all guests at 9PM.  An open bar is the perfect way to recover from a 20-miler…thanks Amanda!

Baltimore at night.

The Bay Cafe.  Sand floors and plenty of cold Miller Lite!

Late-night pizza and shenanigans.

SATURDAY
I started off Saturday with an easy 4-miler on the treadmill at the hotel gym.  I wanted to sleep in but not deal with the heat so the treadmill was the only option.

We have been waiting for this wedding for a long time.  Amanda and Mike are the last of the Mains – my close group of friends – to get married.  Everyone was so excited for a weekend away (sans kids for many of them!).

Amanda and her dad walking down the aisle.  Doesn’t she look beautiful?

Look at that veil…

The new Mr. & Mrs.

The cocktail hour was outside on a rooftop deck overlooking the waterfront.  It was quite toasty but the perfect spot for a photo shoot.

Me and Matt.  I’m desperately trying not to squint.

Hello Mains!

…and a little later on in the night…

One more…

All the lady Mains rounded up for a picture.

Congratulations Amanda and Mike!  We had a fantastic time!

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