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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Back On Track

10/13/11
6 miles
*3 x 1200 @ 10K pace…a mini speed session.  

I was winded during Tuesday’s tempo run (3 miles at 8:00 pace).  Breathing labored, wishing the run was over, and hating life.  That kind of run.  I kept thinking how the hell am I going to run faster than this next month (at the Philly Half)?  And…how out of shape did I manage to get in 4 short weeks post-marathon?

My 4 weeks after the Lehigh Valley Marathon looked like this:
Week 1 – race a half marathon (bad idea)
Weeks 2 and 3 – take it easy because of bad idea (and by “take it easy” I did run…just 2-3 times a week and nothing over 6 miles)
Week 4 – 34 miles of easy runs

I’m not out of shape.  Seeing it written out in black and white makes it more clear.  You’re supposed to rest after a marathon, lay off the speed work, and just enjoy not training for a bit.

BUT…

It took me sooo long to get my speed to this point, I’m terrified of losing it.  I worked so hard and I want to further build on the foundation that I have now.

So I made it back to the track today to prepare for the Philly Half.  I’m staying away from the crazy speed work I once did (running until my lungs screamed).  For now, 10K pace is adequate and will allow me to improve and maintain, which is all I can really ask for.

AND I’m chalking that tempo run up to a bad run day.  Yep, just like a bad hair day.

Have you ever been afraid of losing fitness, endurance, speed, etc. after a race that you trained months for?  I must admit, I’m a little nutso about it right now.  

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?

GoGazella
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!

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.  

7 Links

7/26/11
8 miles tempo / 1:08 / 8:30 avg pace
*Tempo miles:  7:45, 8:00, 8:00, 7:54, 8:00.  This heat is going to kill me.   

Aron tagged me to participate in the 7 Links post circling blogland right now.  Here goes!

My Most Beautiful Post

I generally shy away from the mushy gushy but I guess my What Is A Runner post would be the most beautiful?

My Most Popular Post

This is easy.  It would definitely be my Weight Gain and Marathon Training post.  It gets a few views each day.  And then people proceed to check out my pictures to get a good glimpse of me!

My Most Controversial Post

Since this is a running blog, topics don’t get too heated.   This wasn’t controversial on my end but my Weight Gain and Marathon Training post was mentioned as what not to do on (what I consider) a pro-anorexia blog.  So disturbing.  These girls were using running as a way to lose weight quickly without much eating.  Needless to say, my post on gaining weight was probably horrifying to them.  The blogger went so far as to say “I don’t want to be like this girl…”  That girl being me and my sweet tooth!

My Most Helpful Post

I think that would be My Advice For Newbie Runners.

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

I wouldn’t say this was super successful but I didn’t think anyone would comment when I posted about my Running Pet Peeves.  Ha!  The comments were hysterical.  Apparently, I’m not alone!

A Post I Feel Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved

This wasn’t a fantastic post or anything but I was a relatively new blogger and wrote a post called One Year Older, One Year Wiser back in February.  I got 3 comments…from close friends!

A Post I’m Most Proud Of

It wasn’t the post I was proud of but the race results from my Memorial Day 5K (5th Overall Female & 3rd in Age Group).  I hate 5Ks (I’m not fast), it was hot, I ran terribly, and – for the first time ever – I placed in a race!

Now I am supposed to tag 5 people to participate in 7 Links.  Tag you’re it…

Claire at the fight and flight response
Cindi at Runnin’ From The Law
Keri at The Blue-Eyed Runner
Rachel at Run Around My Blog
Holly at Pink Runner

Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 7 Recap

7/19/11
7 miles easy / 1:04 / 9:09 avg pace

Am I really on Week 8 already?! Time is flying by and race day will be here before I know it. I just got the butterflies/nervous feeling typing that! No matter how many marathons you run, the nerves are always there. Especially when you want need to BQ. No pressure though 😉

Week 7 was so-so. I wanted to keep my mileage at 50 but couldn’t due to my left quad soreness (resulting from dehydration on a long run). My quad felt fine by Tuesday but I didn’t want to push it. So no speed work for the week but I did have a good (short) long run and a good tempo run, so I can’t complain.

MON:  8 easy
TUE:  4 easy with a running club (details to come…)
WED:  8 tempo
THU:  rest
FRI:  13 long
SAT:  10 easy
SUN:  rest

A total of 43 miles for the week. I’m planning on 54 miles this week. It’s supposed to 100 degrees on Friday with crazy humidity. This will be a good test for Operation Hydration. I’m going to carry salt packets with me on my long run to see if they help and drink more water than I usually do all week. I’m not afraid of hydrating too much (fun fact: I check the color of my pee all the time). I know my body and if you saw how much I sweat, I think you would agree! On that gross note, I’m outta here!

Little Things I Look Forward To Each Day

7/13/11
8 miles temp0 / 1:06 / 8:15 avg pace
*6 miles at 7:50 pace

I was thinking a few days ago about all the routine things I do each day that make me smile, bring me out of a bad mood, comfort me, etc.  If you sense a list coming up, you’re correct!  Here’s my list of little things that I look forward to each day (most likely in order of appearance!).

1.  My morning run:  If you couldn’t tell from my 5:00AM wake-up calls, I’m an early bird.  Running in the morning is so peaceful (and necessary in the summer).  It’s the best way to start the day.

2.  Venti sugar-free vanilla non-fat misto:  I swing by Starbucks on the days that I go into work (I work from home 2 days a week).  Delicious!  I know my drink order is super high maintenance but this is way cheaper than a Skinny Vanilla Latte but tastes the same.

3.  Readers’ comments:  I LOVE reading your comments!  I get so excited when my Gmail lights up!  Keep ’em coming 🙂

4.  Blog reading:  I also love to read all of your blogs!

5.  Walking in the door after work and seeing Hawk:  How can you not love a dog that is so happy to see you every day?  He practically looses his mind when I walk in the door.

6.  Having dinner with Matt:  I love to sit down and eat with Matt (bonus if it’s summer and we can grill and eat on the deck).

7.  Taking Hawk for a walk:  Bonus if Matt comes along.  I enjoy going out for a walk but don’t get the chance to do it very often.

8.  Watching a TV show with Matt:  We don’t watch much TV so this is a real treat.  Usually we watch a show on Netflix (just finished up Friday Night Lights – so so so good!).

9.  Bed:  Yes, I’m serious.  I love to sleep and go to bed early – between 9:00 and 9:30.  Yup, call me grandma.  But that 5:00AM wake-up call comes pretty fast!

What are some routine things that you look forward to each day?  

A Fun and Productive Weekend

7/11/11
8 miles easy / 1:17 / 9:37 avg pace

Let’s recap the weekend!  Friday night was my friend Wendy’s wedding.  She looked beautiful and her dress was amazing (it was so Wendy!).  The ceremony took place outside on this beautiful covered terrace.  It was perfect.

Here is Wendy getting ready to walk down the aisle…

She was a little emotional!

Back view of her dress…

The food was awesome:  mini cheeseburgers and a mashed potato bar?!  I can’t think of a better way to refuel after 20 miles.

Group shot:  Sheryl, Wendy, and me.  Not sure why we are all squatting down (especially me).

Saturday was my first weekend home in awhile and I was prepared to tackle some of my to-do list.  Matt has been asking me for some time to go through all my pictures (pre-digital age…about 3 1/2 boxes worth) and trash/consolidate.  We live in a small house so the less boxes lying around, the better.  This took all day.  And I’m not even finished.  I separated everything into piles based on time but I still need to organize more before placing them in storage boxes.  I got rid of 3 garbage bags worth of pictures.  Who needs that many pictures of your senior prom?  I also got to relive how much fun I had in college 🙂

This is the treadmill's purpose during the summer months

On Sunday I had a 8 mile tempo run planned with 5 miles at 8:00 pace.  I’ve been doing my tempo runs on a shaded trail so my Garmin is always a little off; it often tells me I am running faster than I am.  It’s difficult for me to accurately track my pace so I just aim to run in the “comfortably hard” tempo zone.

image

I got back to my car and took a peek at my times.  Holy crap!  That was comfortably hard?!  I finally found my groove and hit my pace on laps 5 and 6.  I obviously need to reign myself in more and control my pace but I do love to see progress!

Lehigh Valley Marathon: Week 5 Recap

7/6/11
7 miles easy / 1:07 / 9:34 avg pace

Week 5 went surprisingly well, especially after a weekend of bachelorette festivities.  The lack of sleep did me in and I practically dragged myself out of bed for each run.  But, as always, once I got moving I was fine.

MON:  6 miles speed
TUE:  6 miles tempo
WED:  8 miles easy
THU:  rest
FRI:  18 miles (so happy about this run!)
SAT:  4 easy miles at the shore
SUN:  rest

42 miles for the week (it’s a drop-back week).  I’m hoping to hit the big 5-0 this week.

So here’s a really random, so-not-related-to-this-post question:  when you wear running tights (or yoga pants), do you wear underwear?  I’ve gotten asked this question a few times (I don’t) and I have pretty strong feelings on this one.  First off, why would you?  I can’t think of anything more uncomfortable.  And unsightly.  I’ve been behind women in races and all I can see is panty lines.  If you do don the underwear, I would love to hear why!

Bachelorette Fun: Saturday Night

6/28/11
6 miles tempo / 50:40 / 8:26 avg pace
*3 miles at 7:45 pace.  My actual times were 7:48, 7:57, and 7:57.  I struggled with the last 2 tempo miles.  I hate having to do 2 hard days back-to-back but I’ll be away this weekend so I had to get it done.  

As promised, here’s part II of our weekend!

Saturday started out perfect…with a 3-mile run in Avalon with Sara!  I’m training Sara and her 2 co-workers for the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Sara is superwoman – works full-time, mom of 3 (oldest is 7!), and she’s training for her 4th half marathon.  This run is exactly what I needed after my 20-miler on Friday.  We had a great run and got to gawk at the many gorgeous homes along the water.

This isn't a hotel...this is someone's house!

I'll take it!

Post-run shot on the beach

We spent the majority of Saturday on the beach and sipping cocktails along the water.  Ahhhh…

Saturday night was more drinking and dancing…best described in pictures 🙂

The bachelorette all ready for a night at the shore!

Me and Jen

The Mains

And it was Trish's birthday! Cookie cake is the best.

Group shot (Trish is really enjoying her birthday!)

It was an awesome weekend and I can’t wait to do it all over again in 1 month at Amanda’s wedding!

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