Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 15 in Review - The Bourbon Chase and 50 Miles!

So - first of all, I am sorry about the lack of posting over the last few days. I have been out of town running an absolutely EPIC relay. I will recap everything over the week, but for now, I want to recap my training for the week.

This week included two firsts. It was my first 50+ mile week since I started running, AND I ran my first relay. The Bourbon Chase.
If you ever want to do a different sort of a relay, I really recommend this one. It was completely different. :) That will make much more sense after I racap those 33 hours that were were running on the Bourbon Trail in KY. Was our time awesome and were we winners? Not even close. But we had an awesome time.

Here is a recap of the week.
And yes, I COMPLETELY slacked off on my strength training for the day. Completely. But with how the week went and all of the running that I had scheduled, I figured that it was for the best.

Tomorrow we shall start with the recap of the relay. We shall start here.
Yup. Jim Beam. That was where our adventure started.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

#BourbonChase2012 - It Starts Tomorrow!

So by this time tomorrow morning, I will be on my way to Louisville (specifically, to Jim Beam) to get started on our #BourbonChase2012 tour. We are doing the standard 12 man team, two vans, etc etc. Although, I am looking through the start times for various teams, I think we should consider a 6 man ultra team next year.  Although maybe I should wait and see if I enjoy this first or not, right? I tend to jump the gun a little (read: signing up for Columbus before my first 20 mile run during Pig training).

Anyway, tonight I will be heading home from work to get ready to go first thing tomorrow morning. I think I will be leaving my house around the same time that I usually leave for my run or the gym! So I guess it is good that I am semi-adjusted to that time. I am going to be parking at my SIL Angela's house.

By the way, let's talk about Angela for a second. Here she is one year ago, right around the time that I got married.
That is at my wedding shower in June 2011. And here she is now:
That is her in the center. Holy weight loss batman! She is an amazing woman. She is ALSO running the Columbus Marathon in just over 4 weeks! You know why? Because she is awesome.

But she lives about 2 miles from the place where we all decided to meet to go together to KY. Well, it is actually IN KY, but about an hour and a half from where the chase actually is. I admit, I am nervous about leaving my car in a mall parking lot for two nights, so I decided that I would much rather leave it at her house. So her husband (on the left, above) leaves for work at 5:30 every day. So I am going to go to her house, he will drive me to the Starbucks closest to our meeting location, and then I will head over to meet up with the team in a half hour.

I am ridiculously excited for this, but also nervous. I want to be prepared. I want to run at my required pace (9:30 miles) I want us to do GREAT as a team!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

7 Miles x 2

Good morning, blog peeps! I am feeling extra cheerful this morning, although I am not entirely sure why. I guess I will take it though, since it does not happen that often.

When I got home last night, I wanted to get out and get my run in right away. I knew J wanted to run as well last night, but I made the conscious decision to go alone before he got home. I had 7 miles "easy" on the schedule. I decided that yesterday, easy to me meant comfortable. No set paces, no pushing for negative splits, etc, just run.
So there is the result. And as you can see, the Newton's joined me for this 7 mile run! I am really starting to love those shoes a lot. I haven't had them on for more than 8 miles in one day (last week's back to back 4 mile runs), and I don't plan on going up to double digits with them, but we'll see. The more that I wear them, the more that I am enjoying them. Here are the splits:
So this entire run was below marathon goal pace! I am quite pleased with that, because I was doing really well, and probably could have kept going a little bit. I suppose these are the perks of running after eating, rather than fasted first thing in the morning, like I usually do.

This morning, I had to do another 7 miles at easy pace. I knew that I would be slower on this one than I was yesterday. My legs were a bit tired today, at least moreso than yesterday, and going slower would not be a big deal since it was supposed to be an easy day. I ran the exact same route today as yesterday.
This run was slower, about 25 seconds per mile slower, on average. However, it was still a 9:15 pace. So nothing to sneeze at, at least for me!

This weekend is the Bourbon Chase, and that is how i will be getting my long run miles. I cannot wait! Any advice for a first time overnight relay-er?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Unusual (but necessary!) Meeting

So last night was a different sort of evening for J and I. We had a downtown appointment. Now that we no longer have tickets to the theater (chose not to renew them this year), I never am downtown during the week unless we are going to a baseball game or something.

I arrived at Macys Corporate downtown about 10 minutes before J would be there. We were not doing anything fun at Macys, that just happened to be where the meeting was, and I was greeted by this site outside of the building.
I found the downtown Crossfit box. I immediately regretted the fact that I was dressed nice for our appointment and not in my workout clothes. Granted, I had no idea when class times were or anything, but I still wanted to go over there and get some information and stuff!

So our appointment...  J and I met with a lawyer. This was our first meeting with him or any lawyer and we were going to start chatting about our estate planning/wills/etc. It is definitely a strange thing to think about. I mean, the death of you and your husband. Planning for kids that you don't have yet. Worrying about who is going to take care of your dogs when you die.
"Doesn't anyone want me? Look how cute and sweet I am!"

We decided that we are going to go ahead and write things up including children, that way when (god willing) we have them, we will not necessarily need to make adjustments right away. We are going to form a "living trust" to hold all of our assets. That will help our relatives avoid probate when we are deceased. It seems to be fairly straightforward to get handled, and obviously our lawyer takes care of all of the tough parts.

Have you started figuring out what will happen to your stuff in the event of death?

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Tale of Speed and Poop

Well, let's say my week has already started out in an interesting and hectic fashion.

Yesterday, as is normal on Sundays, we watched football for the majority of the day. I worked on my computer and blog, J worked, I did the laundry, etc. Normal Sunday activities were all that was done. During the 3rd quarter of the Chiefs game (which they WON!) J decided to distract the dogs by giving them some filled bones that we had purchased for them as a special treat. As expected, they LOVED them. They are the super hard ones, but then they had cheese or peanut butter flavored filling. The dogs rarely get treats like that, and they enjoyed them!

At about 4 am J got up to use the restroom. Zeus had been crying in his crate most of the night, and I smelled something wicked. I told J to watch his step because I smelled something and I was right. Teek used the bathroom on our floor. When J was in the bathroom, I cleaned it up and then I got ready to go for my run. Zeus was still crying though, so I figured he might also not be feeling well, so I should let him out. I took both of the dogs outside and they used the bathroom. We came back in and I took them up to J, and told him I was going to stay home since they were not feeling well. He said to let Zeus stay out and play and I should go get my run in, so I did!

I had a track workout on the schedule today, so I had 400 repeats. Here is how the run went:
2 mile warm up: 18:13
6x 400m (with a 400 recovery) - 3 miles:
Mile 1 - 7:58
Mile 2 - 7:52
Mile 3 - 7:41
1.16 mile cooldown: 9:07

6 miles done in 50:52, for an 8:15 average/mile. I would say that run was CRUSHED.

When I got back to my house I saw that there were several more lights on than I left on. J and the dogs were in the living room (awesome start, right....) Apparently they were both still a little sick (the runs) and then Teek decided that she needed to help her little brother clean up so he would not get yelled at for pooping in the house, so she ate it. And then got sick. So J and I spent the remaining hours before leaving for work cleaning up after our little furbabies.

They seem to be ok now, and it seems to be all out of their systems (and this was way better than the M&M situation - which I was just looking back through the blog to see if I talked about it, which I didn't! It was the night before my last 20 miler before the Pig. Teek ate 2 cups (!!!) of M&Ms and had to stay in the puppy hospital) and they are back to normal!

Has a sick dog or kid ever made you run faster?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Columbus Marathon: Week in Review

Wow, less than one month to go until the next marathon. I have this week coming up as my biggest peak, highest mileage, and then we can start to slow down for the race. (Granted, I still will have an 18 miler left, but it will be lower than this weekend's run!)

So here is the breakdown of my week:
Another week of over 40 miles. It has hard to believe that it was a step back week. In a step back week I ran over 40 miles. I realize that was repetitive, but seriously!

As I am sure that you can tell, I am not strength training as much as I used to, or as much as I would like to be. Especially training legs. I have really been struggling mentally with that as well. But every time I do train legs, I wind up kinda sore for a few days. So I have been sticking to a lot of body weight work. I have been doing a lot of pushups (and their variations) and planks and their variations. They are definitely tricky and difficult exercises, but they are keeping me strong throughout this marathon stuff.

After this is over, we shall see what happens as far as my training goes.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hudy 14K Race Report

Today's long run was 14-15 miles. I definitely succeeded. I got up in the morning, ran 6 miles, and then headed downtown to hammer out the rest. J and I ran in a 14K then. It was J's longest distance ever. We both finished successfully.

So the race started downtown at the Morlein Lagerhouse. It was a brewery run (touring through downtown Cincinnati past a lot of the old breweries). We ran it last year as well and I did the 14K and J did the 7K. He ended up doing more like a 9K last year though, we think, because they forgot to put out the sign for the turn around for the 7K last year (it has kind of been a running joke for a year now).

I started the race with J. We ran the first two miles together. After that, he needed to slow down and walk a little bit. So I decided that I should work hard to have a decent training run, so I kicked it up! My pace spent some time picking up significantly after that.

This race was the one last fall that I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself that my foot was fine so I could run it. And right after that I went to the doctor and wound up in the boot.

So this race went much better than that. But since I got to start with J, I started off easy. Here are my splits:
Mile 1 - 9:57
Mile 2 - 9:55
Mile 3 - 8:48
Mile 4 - 9:02
Mile 5 - 9:04
Mile 6 - 8:39
Mile 7 - 8:38
Mile 8 - 8:16
Mile 0.81 - 6:15

Full Recap of the week's training tomorrow!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Errands Give Me Anxiety

I would call last night a huge errand running success. My evening was hectic and actually rather stressful. I had a lot of running around to do and it was not the best time of day to try and get it all in.

So we started off at 4:30 pm. I left the office to start getting my errands run. I had to stop and get gas first. This was an easy one as there is a gas station just a block from the office. And I saved 10 cents (because of Kroger Plus!) so I figured it was my best choice gas station. Especially with my fuel light already on.

After gas, I needed to go to Kroger. J asked me to pick up a cheese/cracker tray for him to take to work today. Kroger is about a mile and a half from the gas station. That is it. And traffic was terrible. I was not on the highway. I am not downtown or anything (where you would anticipate traffic being awful) but it was terrible. I finally got to the point where I could turn right into the parking lot. My Kroger is in a shared strip with a KMart and a few other smaller stores, with Kroger being the furthest. I am driving through the parking  lot and BAM! they are resurfacing it, and a whole section of parking lot is blocked off. Completely.

The only way to get around it and get to Kroger is to re-exit the lot and re-enter further down. So I got in the line with all of the other people like me who were tricked into thinking that they were almost to Kroger. Of course, there was a TON of traffic so it was not easy to exit the lot even though we were turning right. Eventually, I got out and made it to the next parking lot entrance. Kroger was packed (why wouldn't it be? *sigh*) and so I struggled a little to find a parking place.

When I got in inside I quickly found J's cheese platter, then hit the cracker aisle to purchase whichever crackers were the cheapest (ritz ftw). I got my doggie food that the pups needed and I was out of there within 10 minutes. Of course that meant that traffic was still crappy. And there was no way on earth that I was going to be able to turn left out of the lot to get home. Ok, right it is! Now I have never gone right, but I figured it could not be too tough, after all, I was only 2 miles (if that) from my house.

It worked out just fine because I eventually ended up home. I tend to stress out in situations like what happened there with the parking lot and stuff. Things like that are the things that cause major anxiety for me. I don't know what, but that is the sort of thing that does me in lately. It is a little like claustrophobia, but not, if that makes any sense.

I also did a little baking last night, which turned out awesome.
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. Recipe adapted and modified from here. I am not dairy free, so I adjusted a little based on that!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yesterday's Accidental Half Marathon

If you recall, I mentioned in yesterday's entry that I was going to hammer out a few miles with the hubby last night. J is training for the Columbus half marathon and he had four miles on the schedule, which was perfect for me. It would put me at 9 miles for the day and 19 miles for the week. Then I had plans to do 5-6 this morning, which would put me at 24-25 miles - also known as right on track.

Well, as we all know, plans can change sometimes. In fact, plans can often change a lot. Last night was no exception.

So J had talked to me as I was leaving the office in the evening, saying he would be home around 5:45 or 6 and we could go run. I figured I would grill the chicken and dice it up so there would be one less thing to do afterward. So I grilled and then cooked up the rice while I got ready to go out for our run. I was wearing the most ridiculous outfit on the planet, I would venture to guess. From the bottom up.
Hot Pink (and black) Newtons
Blue compression socks (knee high)
purple moving comfort shorts
purple moving comfort bra
light blue brooks tank
I think Jason was embarrassed, but I felt really good. The only thing that might have made the outfit even better was if I put my arm warmers on...  I am thinking about a repeat for Saturdays race + arm warmers. It would be epic. Especially because we are meeting some other people downtown after the race and we will not be changing.

Anyway, that is besides the point. It was getting later (after 6) and J was still not home. My chicken and rice were both cooked and sitting in the fridge waiting. Eventually he text me. He said something had come up, so I should just go ahead. Since I was ready, I immediately headed out the door with plans to run 4 miles. I have not synced my watch from last night yet, so I am not sure on splits and stuff, but suffice to say that average pace was under 9 minute miles.

When I got home I let the dogs out and sat outside with them. J got home as we were outside. He asked if I ran, and I said yes, and he mentioned that he had text me and said he was leaving in 5 minutes. (Yes, he had, but I was already out the door!) And I because I am nice, volunteered to go out again with him. So out the door I went. I ended up at 13.28 miles for the day, which is pretty good!

Has this ever happened to you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It Feels like FALL

So there are another few days of running in the books now. I ran on Monday (as mentioned) prior to meeting up with Karen, on Tuesday I hammered through 6 miles on the treadmill (it was raining - plus I hadn't been to the gym in ages, so I figured it was a good chance to get my money's worth!), and this morning I headed out for 5 more. I am going to do 5 tonight as well.

It was actually really chilly out this morning, so I decided it was a good day to try out a pair of arm warmers. I bought them a little while back because I thought they would make me look like a badass runner.
And heck yeah, I got the red ones! Plus they have thumbholes. I am a sucker for thumbholes in stuff.

If I choose to run in them for the marathon, I think some body glide might be needed. I was lazy today and didn't put any on my upper body (it was not needed on lower body since I was wearing crops). So I will need to remember to put it around my bra lines and some other places because my arms rubbed up against my pits and it rubbed noticeably. No chafing after 5 miles, but I think after 26 that will be a different story! I liked wearing them though. I wore them with a tank and I felt like I was covered up enough. I was sweating by the end, which I expected. That is why I went tank with arm warmers instead of a pullover or something.

Today's run ended up being another one where I had neg splits. Without really paying attention to the watch.
Mile 1 - 9:52
Mile 2 - 9:31
Mile 3 - 9:30
Mile 4 - 9:16
Mile 5 - 9:02

Wish me luck with my second 5 tonight!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Much Needed Day Off Work

Yesterday was such a great day. I had scheduled the whole day off, which was awesome. I am only allowed to carry over one week of time off, and I was fighting to get enough days, so I figured I would schedule one and make plans with some friends. And by friends, I simply mean Karen. I love that girl and am so glad that Steph introduced us!

So I got up with my dogs yesterday around 6 am. I was not worried about getting up super early and squeezing in my run because I knew that Karen was doing hers later and we were planning on meeting around 11 am. After taking the dogs out and feeding them, we went back to bed. When I got in bed with Zeus, J asked if I was going to take a shower. I told him no since I hadn't run yet, and I wasn't going to work anyway. So J got up and got ready for the day, grumbling all throughout. I did get up and put on my running stuff when J was leaving.

We ended up walking out the door together and I headed out for a run. I was tired and sore from Sunday afternoon's long one, but I still wanted to get a bit more time on my feet. So I decided on 4 miles at a maintenance pace. I ended up hammering through 4 miles at a 9:22 average pace, which was better than expected. It started out slow, but I pushed myself to get my legs warm and moving, and it paid off!

I left my house around 10:30 to get to Karen's at just after 11. We hung out and chatted with her sister who was over there for a few minutes before packing up Bradley and getting in the car. The outlet mall that we wanted to go to was only 20 minutes from her house. So we hit the road. We decided to stop at Chipotle and eat lunch first since it was already 11:30 and we were hungry! Plus that would help with timing because Karen could feed Bradley and then he would likely go to sleep in the stroller while we shopped. So Bradley spent the time at lunch flirting with me... grinning at me and laughing little baby laughs. But then when I went to take a picture of him...
Nothing... He looks bored to be with me. How lame! (still, what a cute kid, and a great bib!)

We hit the outlets for QUITE A BIT of shopping (I blew my "gifts" budget for the month...  but it was a start on Christmas shopping!) and I got the things that I decided I needed (jeans. I was down to one pair and wearing them every single day). I got my sister's gift, started on J, and got one brother completed. I consider that a success.

Now I am back in the office and wishing I was with Karen and Bradley (or heck, J and my pups!) again.

And here is one picture from Cleveland.
Like the J photo-bomb? Also, those beer cans are textured to feel like footballs!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Columbus Marathon: Week In Review

Okay everyone. I have gotten through 13 weeks of marathon training. There are only 5 more weeks left, which is supremely difficult to believe. I am going to get through this marathon and I am going to achieve my goal for this. Even if it is my "C' goal, I am going to achieve it.
This was a tough week of running including my highest mileage ever and the first 20 mile run of this training cycle. But it is done now, so I feel like I can rest a little bit more easily now. I know that I am going to get through the race. I know that I am going to be successful. Yesterday's 20 miler was hell. It was super difficult. It was hot, sunny, I flew through my water, my legs were killing me, etc. But it is now done. And considering all of the things that I had working against me yesterday (8 hours in a car in 24 hours, drinking way too much on Saturday, running in the afternoon instead of the morning, etc), I have to consider this run a win!
This weekend long run is a step back, so only 14 miles on the weekend. 8 of them are going to be a race. J is running it too, which I am excited about.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Trip to Cleveland

We had a blast at the Indians v. Tigers game yesterday. The Tigers won as well, which was awesome. The White Sox won as well, which was not fun, but at least we got the Tigers win!

We had an absolute blast with Megan and Pete in Cleveland though. We all drank too much and stuff, which I guess is maybe to be expected! J and I arrived in Cleveland just before noon, which was perfect. We went up to our room and got settled in. We then headed back down to the bar that was in the lobby. It was called Amp 150 and they had 100 beers! We had a great lunch and J had a few beverages before Megan and Pete got there.

When they arrived, we immediately got in a car and headed downtown. We stopped in a little sports bar called Harry Buffalo to have a beer (and this was beer 1 for Meg, Pete, and I) and finish watching the Buckeyes game. It was exciting and everyone seemed to be interested in that game!

After the baseball game we went and hit up House of Blues for dinner. More beers were drank, dinner was eaten. We had a good fun time. Al (our driver) came back to pick us up and we decided to stay at the hotel bar for the rest of the evening. The one bartender at the bar is a magician and I think it really freaked Megan out.

I ran 20 miles today. I will go into more detail tomorrow!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Long Run Spoiled

No long run today. I will be doing it tomorrow. Right now I am in my car just south of Columbus OH (the site where I should be rocking my goal in just 5 weeks!) J and I are headed up to Cleveland for a baseball game tonight. The Tigers are playing the Indians, and we got these tickets at an auction at the beginning of August. I have been looking forward to this ever since! I definitely wish Cleveland was not quite so far, but what are you going to about it? We go because it will be fun!

So we'll be back home tomorrow and I have to head out and run my 20 miles all by myself. That is not going to be super awesome, but I have a plan. I am going to go to the bike trail for an out and back. That way I will be 10 miles out and I will have to get back to my car somehow! I figure that way it will get done in one way, shape or form!

Karen is out doing 20 with the group. I hope she texts me when she is done to let me know how it went! I really hope we crush our goals in Columbus.

Breakfast today was a granola bar and a pumpkin spice latte (skim milk, no whip). Not my typical breakfast, but a pretty delicious on the go one. We brought the granola from home and hit starbucks on our way out. J is drinking one of those "refreshers" - the berry one. Those are pretty yummy!

Have a lovely day and wish me luck on the big 20 tomorrow (and the Tigers luck tonight - we're hoping for a playoff berth!)

Friday, September 14, 2012

No time for Writing!

TGIF! And seriously! This has felt like a really long week with everything going on! We have had a new partner in the office for a few days, which has made things complicated and we have the new guy on our team who will be housed in NY here for a few days. It makes for a hectic couple of days, to say the least.

And today is no better. I have been in meeting after meeting all day long, it feels like, and we had a lunch out with our new team head (we hired a CFO). We had a great time though, and turns out he is way more fun AWAY from the office than he is in it. But for some reason whenever we eat certain things at lunchtime (we went to a burger joint called Sammy's today) I feel really weird all afternoon. Now, after Sammy's, I feel kind of light headed/airy. Almost like I have had several beers (I have not!) so it is weird.This happened one other time, the day when Nick (the Olympian) was in the office.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday Morning Track Party!

I have turned over a new leaf in my food consumption. I have become very consistent at logging every single thing that I eat, big or small, even if it will take me over calories. I used to just skip it if I knew that I was going to be going over. But now beer, appetizers, desserts, a nibble while I am cooking...  I track all of it, and I am pretty pleased with myself for doing so!

Last night is a good example of that. We went out and I tracked everything that I ate including a few beers. I ended up within my calorie range anyway, but it is kind of hard to see how quickly calories/carbs/fats/whatever add up! But it is helping me to learn to balance my days. If I know that J and I are going to go out to dinner (as I did yesterday) I can plan the rest of my day accordingly! So it was a success, and I hope to keep it up!

So maybe a big dinner out + beer = fuel for a Thursday morning track workout? I was nervous about this because that high hamstring/low glute thing bugged me all day yesterday. If it was hurting when I got up to use the restroom, I would plan on running but just another easy pace run instead of hitting the track. When my alarm went off and I got up to use the restroom, I expected to feel a twinge in my glute. Nothing. I swung my right leg around a little...  nothing. So to the track it was!

The workout that I planned for today was Monday's workout since I slept in then and tempo'd at lunch time. As written it was a 2 mile warm up, 6x400 in 1:54, 1:54 recovery, and a 1.5 mile cooldown. The suggested distance was 5.5 miles. I modified the workout slightly to work best in the dark. So I could just rely on my watch beeps for cues. I did a 2 mile warmup, 6x400 with a 400 recovery, and a 1 mile cooldown. That would bring my total distance to 6 miles. I did not autolap after each 400, so I only have total miles. But here is how the workout turned out for me!
You can tell the miles where I was doing the actual workout, can't you? Overall, I am super pleased with this workout, and I am really pumped about the paces that I was able to put up!

Tomorrow is a crosstraining day, and I am headed into the gym. I will be hammering out the final workout C of this session of Best Body Bootcamp. It is tough to believe that it has been 8 weeks already! I am really hoping to revisit some of the workouts again after the marathon.
How is everyone else enjoying our final week?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Few Lessons Learned

Lesson 1. When you decide to retire your shoes because they have over 400 miles on them, you should REALLY retire them.
I headed out first things this morning for my usual Wednesday easy pace/maintenance pace run. If you will remember from the other day, I decided I was going to wear my old shoes, hopefully for another 100 miles, taking them all the way to 500, but it would only be for easy runs.

Today's schedule was calling for 6 miles, easy pace. So I went in with my same plans as usual, don't worry about your watch. Wear it, so you can look at your splits later, but don't worry about it.
Mile 1 - 9:43
Mile 2 - 9:35
Mile 3 - 9:18 (finding my groove)
Mile 4 - 9:40
Okay, there is a story that goes along with this mile getting slower that I feel needs to be told. I ran my 6 mile loop around my neighborhood that I discovered last summer. I did it the easy way, which consists of gradual uphills and one huge, steep downhill. (I am sure not everyone would agree with me that this is the easier way, but that is what I feel). There is a long straight stretch down what would be considered a main road. It is a 2 mile+ stretch. It also happens to run by a cemetery. Because it is a main road, it is fairly well lit, even at 5 am. As I was running past the cemetery and under a streetlight, the light went out. And I started to feel a little spooked. And then it happened again. The next street light, still in front of the cemetery, went out as I ran under it. Suffice to say, I was spooked, and I attribute my slowness on this lap to that!
Mile 5 - 9:29
And here is where the lesson comes in... At about 4.5 miles, the muscle (or tendon or something) that is just below my right buttcheek started THROBBING. I have had some trouble with tightness in my gluteus medius on long runs, but this was a completely different place and it was not tightness. It was straight up pain. I actually caught myself grabbing the cheek while running, trying to dig my fingers into the spot of the pain (hoping it was a knot and I could loosen it, I guess?) without even being aware that I was doing it. The pain lasted the rest of the run, and I can still feel it now!
Mile 6 - 9:15
Mile 0.16 - 1:28
Total Time: 58:27 for 6.16 Miles
So yeah, these old asics are going to become my walking around shoes, which means tossing the Pig shoes into the trash. They have lived a full life. I am not sure that I am correct in putting all of the blame on them for this hurt, but I feel that they will serve me better as kick around shoes, now.

Lesson 2: When you are a protein freak (leftover from some contest mentality) you cannot add protein powder to everything and expect it to turn out ok.
Case in point: Coffee. I figured my vanilla protein powder might end up working out like a non-dairy powdered creamer. (well the protein powder IS dairy, but the creamer is not - if you get what I am saying). So I poured my coffee and dumped about a third of the scoop that I packed into the coffee and started mixing with my little straw. Nope. It just got clumpy and looked kind of gross. But you bet your butt I am drinking that cup and will drink more to finish up that scoop of powder I brought for breakfast!

Have you learned any tough lessons lately?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tempo & Shoe Retirement

I absolutely slacked off yesterday. Completely. I stayed in bed in the morning as a result of allowing myself to stay up late for football. So yes, I felt like a slacker. However, I knew it was not something that was going to last, and packed up my running clothes for lunchtime.

Because I was running in the afternoon (during the school day) the track would not be available. So I made the decision to swap my track workout with my tempo workout (which is scheduled for Thursday), so I didn't need the track. The tempo workout on tap for this week was 2 miles warmup, 4 miles at threshold pace (8:33), and then a mile and a half cooldown (which turned into 2 miles for me!). I would say I nailed it.
Look at those 4 maintenance miles... 3 of them nailing the exact same pace! I am so pleased that I am becoming a stronger pacer. It is like I am starting to learn what different paces feel like, and I am getting to the point where they are more maintainable.

After I finished the run, I did something a little emotional. I retired my asics for running other than about 100 more miles of maintenance runs. I figure they have about 100 miles left on them, but I cannot wear them for long runs or tough runs anymore. They did me well for 403 miles so far, and I would like them to live to 500! (Plus I felt like it was time to get the other pair broken in since I would definitely be wearing them for the marathon in 6 weeks.)
RIP to my beautiful second pair of asics cumulus 13s. You were a great running partner after the Flying Pig (that was when I started wearing them, right after the Pig!) I bought these shoes at the Glass City Marathon expo, right before I PRd my half marathon (and ran under 2 hours, which was my goal!). They were different colors of the exact same shoes that I had been training in since the first of the year, so I figured they were worth purchasing. The 14s had been released already, so I think that is why they had them for $70 instead of $110.

So since I have made the decision that the Newton's are for 6 miles or less (and speed work) I busted out the next pair of cumulus that I had stored up. They are the same as the ones that I wore for the Pig! They have the same colors and everything with this pair!

So I wore them out for my 7 miler today. As much as I wanted to tack another 7 miles on to the dark ones, I figured I better get this pair ready for a 20 miler this weekend! So I tackled my 7 miler in these. They'll be ready for the weekend, and I have at least one run (maybe 2?) planned for the Gravity's over the next two days. We shall see. I love those shoes, but they just would probably not work out too well for me in the long run department. I become a major heel striker when I am tired (as evidenced in my Flying Pig finishing photos) so that could lead to some injury!
So the first run in the new shoes was successful. This run also lets me know that I am getting better at running by feel. I never looked at my watch, even when it beeped. I wore it, because I like to have that record and I like to look at it now, when I am checking to see how I did on the run. I like looking at it and seeing the decreasing pace with each mile. I think that is a good sign.

Are you sad when you retire your shoes?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Just a Casual Sunday

Well, we had a fun weekend. A relaxing one despite running the furthest I have run since the Flying Pig. I had a whole lot of nothing to accomplish after the long run. I mean, I got my blogging in, which was important as well, but nothing terribly pressing.

J was at the Buckeyes game for the majority of the day on Saturday. He got home around 5 pm and turned on college football and fell asleep on the couch. We had plans to head out for dinner, but not until around 7 pm, so we would get the evening college games, as well as the reds game on TV. So I let him sleep for a while when he got home. He did tell me that he drank 4 (!!!) 16 oz beers within an hour, so he was having a mid-afternoon hangover. Now while I think that is absolutely unnecessary and ridiculous, I kept my mouth shut. I have no idea, after all.

We went to our usual favorite place for dinner, the Tap House Grill, and I was looking forward to not thinking twice about eating or drinking beer because of that 18 miler in the morning. I struggle with food for the majority of the day after a long run, so I hadn't eaten too much, and I knew that I was going to need some food.  So when we got there, we settled in at the bar. One of our favorite bartenders, Chelsea, was working, so she came over, said hi, and brought us the beer list. I spotted something almost right away that I knew had to be mine!
Check the first thing off of the fall bucket list! A new to me pumpkin brew by Rivertown Brewing Co, one of my favorite Cincinnati brews! It was excellent.

I honestly do not remember what J and I were talking about when we headed home from the bar, but it somehow culminated in this.
"You Shall Not Pass!" He actually shouted this as he hit that stick against the ground. That came out of a tree of ours during a bad thunderstorm earlier in the summer. And because it was so gigantic, J decided it was awesome, so we have not broken it down and put it out with other lawn waste yet. It cracked me up. Please note the Buckeyes shirt. He obviously had to show support for his team!

On Sunday morning, J got up to do his long run for the weekend, while I got ready for the day, cooked breakfast, etc. He did not get his done on Saturday when I did mine because of the game and tailgating. So I think he was a little grouchy about doing it. I am not sure why he is doing this if he really doesn't want to, but I suppose I also have zero room to talk with all of the complaining I have done about Columbus over the last month! Regardless, he got out there and hammered through 6.8 miles in 1:21-ish. I flipped through his splits and he definitely was walking more as the run went on because his times were getting slower as time went on.  But I am proud of him regardless. He is doing awesome.

While he ran, I found something on TV to enjoy.

Ahhhh!!!  The Sound of Music was on TV! That is my favorite favorite favorite ever!  The bottom photo is from my favorite scene in the movie, when they decide that they are in love with each other. It makes me happy just to look at it. I don't think the song they sing is in the stage version of the show. If I remember correctly, it was written for Julie Andrews (my hero!) and therefore only performed in the movie version.

After that, it was time for football! Because it was the first game of the season, I got all done up in my Chiefs gear to make the hubs happy.
Please excuse the ridic bangs, my hair was still shower wet! Too bad the Chiefs lost though. That made me feel pretty sad. I wish they would have a great season, one of these years...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Columbus Marathon: Week 12

Wow, I am 12 weeks into marathon training cycle number 2. That is hard to believe. We have 6 weeks to go. 6 weeks from today I will already be finished with my second marathon (I hope!) and J will be finished with his first half marathon!

Here is the week in training:
Not the highest mileage week, but definitely a good strong week. And a great long run yesterday.

Thank goodness for a good long run because I needed one of those to get some confidence back going into my final 6 weeks.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Long Run & New Shoes

I am at my house, sitting on my couch in the living room watching the Buckeyes game. J is actually AT the game. I am jealous, but it is sometimes nice to have a Saturday where you do not have to worry about anyone but yourself, you know? Teek and Zeus are sitting on the couch with me. I keep telling them "look! there's daddy!" at the TV. Zeus always looks. I love them, even though they love their daddy so much more than they love me.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I had a package from RoadRunner Sports on the porch. This is really exciting because I seriously just placed it on Thursday! So that means I more or less received 1 day shipping FOR FREE! (You get free shipping when you are a VIP - which is SO WORTH IT). I had ordered a package of shot bloks (mountain berry) to get J and I through the rest of marathon training, and it also contained a package for J.
These are his first ever REAL running shoes! We went over to Fleet Feet and got him fitted for the right amount of support, etc, but then we ordered online (much cheaper!). They are the nimbus, which are very similar to my cumulus, but slightly heavier (he is considered to be "large framed" based on his weight). He rain in them for the first time yesterday, and I think he liked how cushy they were! I am super excited for him. Having the right shoes makes a world of difference! He ran in them last night and did 4 miles in 44 minutes. I thought that was so great and I was so proud of him!

When I was sitting on the ground working to get that shot, someone came to visit me.
"Hi mom! Can you please cut my hair so I can see again?" He was standing on my chest looking at me (when I laid down to stretch it out a little). He's my sweet sweet boy.

This morning was long run time. It was raining when I woke up, and honestly, I almost crapped out on my long run. Again. But I got in my car and drove up to Mason for my training group. I had 18 on the agenda, and after all of my training decisions this week, I needed to get out there and get it done. I really was nervous about it because I really WANTED to have a successful run so I could feel better about the next six weeks.

And look at that. Look at those splits. Wow. Successful? I would say yes. And 18 miles in that kind of time? I think we are getting better and getting to the point where we might just be able to run a marathon in 6 weeks! How exciting! By the way, those splits lead us to a 9:16 average pace. Just in case you were curious.

I felt good for the majority of the run. My glute (the one that I have been having trouble with) got a little bit tight a few times while we were running, but I guess over 18 miles, everyone might get a tight glute. I would venture to guess that it is fairly normal, right? But I kept running. I think it helped that I was working really hard to be consistent with my food intake. I took a gu at 6 miles, and then another at 12. I think that probably helped me to feel stronger as we were running. Especially since I have not been too consistent with my running nutrition this training cycle. I will have to remember that for next week as well.

Karen and I went to starbucks after the run for some post run/recovery nutrition. Normally I just get regular coffee when I am there, but decided to go with a latte this time, assuming the protein in the milk certainly could not hurt my recovery! We hung out there drinking our coffee and relaxing for another half hour. Her sister was working too and her coworker who was working the register gave us her discount (read: FREE!) and so that was also awesome. After sitting for about a half hour, my legs started to feel better. I am not sure that I am ready for another long run immediately, but I am not too sore or anything right now.

Because we had such a great run, I felt that only this shirt was the appropriate one to wear today.
Awesome, right? And I do!

Friday, September 7, 2012

#Bearcats Game

Last night we went to the Bearcats game. And despite the opening video I managed to keep my cool and not tear up. However, the couple we were with (not to mention my husband) remembered me tearing up last year and would not let it alone! Any time we made a big play or scored, J or Tim would lean over "are you ok? You're not getting emotional, are you?"  Grr...

Ahhh....  Nippert Stadium.  BEFORE the game.

Last night they had a blackout. Apparently in all of my looking at their facebook page, I did not realize that last night was a blackout game and I wore red. Luckily, I had a hoodie with me that was black (just in case it got chilly) so I wore that but had to push the sleeves up (it was so hot). But J stuck out like a sore thumb in our section in his red shirt and hat.

We played Pittsburgh, our Big East Rival, for potentially the last time (Pitt is moving to the ACC after this season) and it was a great game. UC blew it up walking away with a 34-10 win. It was really fun, and I am hoping to see a few more games in person this season. Despite it being J's alma mater, he is always hesitant to go to games because it might interfere with him watching his precious Buckeyes. Sigh. So I might try and hit up homecoming when he is out of town (playing golf!)

We did not get home until around 1130, and then stayed up to watch the final few plays, so we didn't turn the television off until midnight. That meant I did not get up for a workout today. It simply was NOT happening after being up so late! I am a little sad that I am taking this rest day because Friday is usually the day that I make it to the gym and get in a solid bit of strength training which always makes me feel great. I mean, you all know how much I love to strength train. But I will pull out a bootcamp workout tonight when I get home potentially. :) At least then I can be a little active.

This morning I had my annual review, although it was a little late. I had a successful year, improving on everything that I started out with at my review a year ago. I earned my merit increase as well, which is much higher than average for most companies right now, but it is low for us as a company, as we have been spoiled as a company. But we are making strides around here all the time, so I am pleased with my review, pleased with my raise, and pleased with all of the feedback and discussion that was had this morning.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

No Watch Thursday

I am way too self conscious for my own good. When people are whispering as I walk by them, I automatically assume that they are talking about me. Most likely (ok, absolutely) that is ridiculous, but I cannot help it sometimes. I think it is leftover self consciousness resulting from my final public accounting experience before I found a home here at my current job. Because it is likely that those folks WERE talking about me behind closed doors or in whispered tones sometimes. And I was clueless until the day I was let go.

But that is neither here nor there, it is just something that I noticed about myself today as I walked by a hushed conversation to fill my coffee.  Just something that I was feeling, I guess.

Last night I hammered out one of my bootcamp workouts for the week. It is hard to believe we are halfway through week 7 of Tina's Best Body Bootcamp, but we are. One more week and then it is over, and I am feeling sad about it. I can't wait to do her next session when I won't be training for a marathon and I can really focus on using heavy weights and getting stronger. So I will DEFINITELY be signing up for Round 3!
Anyone else in?

Today was another day of easy maintenance running where I did my best to ignore my watch. It is hard to ignore your watch as a general rule, however, I do find it to be easier when I am running in pitch black. I just don't light it up. I might glance at it as I am running underneath a street light, but that is enough to give me a quick glimpse only. So I either see how far I have gone, or my pace. No time to stare at the watch. Here's the workout:
(PS - it is WAY more fun to show your regular runs in pictures like this than in simple spreadsheets or in pictures of your garmin - trust me. Plus, now that I am using chrome as my regular internet browser, picmonkey is super accessible!)

It felt pretty good this morning. It was not quite as humid (finally!) so running felt a little more comfortable, and as you can see, I managed to increase my pace by a full minute per mile between the first mile and the 4th! (and the extra 0.08 was just to get me to my street, that is my thing when I am running). I am feeling as ready as I can be for my 19 miler that is coming up on Saturday. I am nervous because the last few long runs have been so tough for me. But I set myself a few new goals for this Saturday. The biggest one is KEEP RUNNING. If I start to feel tired or sore or whatever, just slow down, that it better than needing to stop and walk or just plain stop, right? So I will be putting that into action.

Tonight is the Bearcats season opener. They are playing Pittsburgh and J and I will be in attendance! I am excited for it, since it has been a year since I went to a football game. We are going with our friends Tim & Kathy. They are the friends we always get together with where the Cats are concerned. We went to New Orleans with them for the Sugar Bowl, and we saw a game with them last year as well.

So here is something interesting about me. Things that are unexpected make me emotional. If I am at a live sporting event the National Anthem makes me tear up. I also tear up (live event or not) at the video that they play before games in some cases.

The above video is a great example of this. Heck, I watched this video on youtube just now and teared up! I have no clue why!

Here is the exact video from last year.

When we were at the game with our friends, I teared up during this. And all night everyone was asking me what was wrong and I was so embarrassed. I just kept saying "nothing, nothing."

Anyone else out there have this problem?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Experimenting with my Running

As the motivation and the mental game has been a major drag recently, I am trying to experiment a little to figure out what will work for me and what won't. I have less than 7 weeks until the marathon, and while I know I will finish, I want to finish successfully! I want to finish strong!

As a result I am putting some new plans into practice starting this week, in hopes that taking some of the pressure off of myself, I decided I am concerned with mileage first and foremost. Speedwork and tempo runs will be worked into my workouts. At my discretion. Meaning, If I am tired and I just want to log miles, I will. If I want to do a tempo run (like I did Monday) I will.

So that tempo run...  It was completed to get some additional miles over what I had already done that morning. I had an unsuccessful track workout, and felt terrible about it (because I seem to enjoy dragging myself down lately) so I figured let's turn these extra miles into a tempo run.
I am super pleased with my pace for this run. I wanted to do the first three around 5K goal pace (it worked - I ran 3.1 miles in 24:49!) and then I could relax a little. Although I didn't slow down as much as maybe I should have, I felt like I had a great run.

J owed me a few massages based on some bets that we have made recently, and he paid up on one last night. Now this was not a typical massage in anyway. It involved me, face to pillow, while he hammered my calves and hammies with the stick. Oh my gosh, it hurt so good! I was screaming into the pillow on certain parts. But he said he could tell that things were beginning to loosen up as he rolled over and over. I suppose that is a good thing, despite the pain!

So today, since yesterday was 11 miles, and the majority of them tough, I just set out for 5 miles, very relaxed. It ended up being almost a recovery pace. But it also was negative splits/progressive, which I am pleased with considering how wiped out my legs were. So I have to consider that a win. Here are the splits:
Mile 1: 10.20 (!! I could not fall into stride at first. Things just felt awkward)
Mile 2: 9:54
Mile 3: 9:51
Mile 4: 9:37 (and there's my stride)
Mile 5: 9:11

So although the average pace was slower than my average pace has been, I am pleased with this run. Maybe these new ideas will help me out and I will get through the next 6.5 weeks unharmed.

Oh - and here's a nice pic of J and I that I had fun editing yesterday. It is from date night at the beach.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September = Fall

I feel like it is now fall. It will not be official until later in the month, but the beginning of September signals fall to me. And that is my favorite time of the year. Hopefully training will get a little easier as the temperatures start to drop again. I have learned now that I have done serious training in both the summer and the winter, that I run much better in the cold than in the heat. Running keeps me warm and when it is already warm? Ugh. I feel terrible most of the time.

But with fall comes fall goals. And those would be new ones for me to try and accomplish this fall. These are more related to fall funness than health & fitness. I will have to get back to you on my fitness type goals. So for now, here is the fall bucket list.
This is modified from some of those fall bucket lists that you see on Pinterest, but created for me and the things that I want to do this fall. For instance, taking a hay ride does not interest me even a little. So I added in things that I want to do this fall. Like Pumpkin beer. I love that stuff. I didn't see any fall bucket lists on pinterest that had "drink as much pumpkin beer as possible" on it so I had to make one myself. That's what you gotta do.

What is on your Fall Bucket List? Or do you not have one?

Monday, September 3, 2012

A New Week and Fresh Start

Well, Karen has offered me a suggestion to help with my running motivation. I suppose that makes her a great training partner, right? Well, I already knew that one.

So by the suggestion of the all-star training partner who would wail on a 4 hour marathon if she was not training with me, I will no longer be running with my watch on my maintenance runs, only on tempo and track workouts. That way I do not feel any pressure on those. I can just map something out before hand to make sure that I am getting the correct distance in, and then just try and relax and run. If I have fewer must meet goal runs, then maybe I can just enjoy my maintenance runs and feel better about all of the training. That is a good thought, right?

So the original plan for the day was a track run. However, that rain that we were supposed to get all weekend finally came in late last night. So I decided to switch up Mondays run and Tuesdays, and just did 4 miles on the treadmill. It felt tough, and I definitely sweat up a storm, but I did it, all of it, and completed it with fairly relaxed negative splits. Here is the run!
I am disappointed that the treadmill was the way I had to go today. That does suck, but at least I hammered through the run and added a few starter miles to the week. They were nice and easy miles and they did not feel too bad. It was nice and sweaty on the treadmill and a little dizzy once it was over, but I got through them. And honestly, my legs felt pretty good throughout the run. I am taking that as a good sign and that I had an enjoyable run.

So tomorrow I will head to the track and try to get a great track workout in. That is my goal for sure. I have 10-11 miles on the docket, but 4 of them are warm up and cool down miles. So I am looking forward to hammering out a solid workout, because I know that I can.

The rest of my day will be spent on the couch with the hubs. We have had a couple of nice days this weekend, and I am planning on continuing to enjoy it. We have started to watch a new show that we had been planning to enjoy for quite a while now, but we never got into it before now...
Have you watched this yet? We are currently watching the 4th episode of the first season. I am loving it. I have the books on the bookshelf and admittedly have not gotten to them yet, but now that I am watching the show I will definitely have to move the books up on my "to-read" list. I met George RR Martin a few years back. He was in town at a local bookstore doing a signing and so I bought some of his books and he even signed them. So now that I am finally feeling into them, it feels pretty exciting!

Definitely am recommending this show everyone, so seriously, WATCH IT!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week 11 In Review

Clearly based on yesterday's entry, you know that the run did not go so well, and I was not the happiest camper that I could be. I am still not really all that happy about it, but moving on...  Trying to survive the last 7 weeks of training are going to be key. I have promised myself a break from running after this race. So in 7 weeks, I can rest.

So the mileage for the week was obviously about 8 miles under where I wanted it to be. Here is the week's worth of workouts:
So yeah, less miles than it quite a long time. Barely more than I got when we were in Mexico for a week.

I have come to terms with the fact that most of the trouble that I have been having with running this training cycle is simply mental. It is really all lack of motivation at this point and maybe burnout a little as well. So in 7 weeks, I can allow the running burnout to take over and I can focus myself on something new. Whatever that might be at the time. I have a few ideas right now, but I would say it is largely dependent on a few other things in my life that are TBD as of now.

I am trying to start over next week with my running. Trying to take a deep breath and move forward. I know that I just need to find a way over this mental hump, and then I can finish strong. I can succeed with the 26.2 miles, I can get through the next 7 weeks of running. I do love running, and that is what I need to remember.

Anyone out there have any tips for the mental motivation to get through this?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Negativity, Cuteness, and the BUCKS!

So today's run - was not so great. I did not complete it. I ran, but I only got 7 miles done. I had 7 miles with negative splits (trying to see the bright side of all of this!) but I just did so much less than I wanted to. I am truly feeling down in the dumps and very crappy about my DNF today.

I am trying to convince myself that I am a capable runner. I am trying to maintain the fact that I am a marathoner. I am trying to remember that I can do this. I know that I can do this. I am really ready to start working hard. I want to, that is. I want to remember how much I enjoyed finishing the Flying Pig in May. I know that I am lacking motivation for sure.

My training partner is MUCH faster than me, and today proves it. She did the 15 miles that we were supposed to do in 8:39 avg. Heck, she did the last mile in under 8! I am always proud to get the last one at under 9. That is definitely discouraging to me. I am very tempted sometimes to try and ease back into the half marathon. Especially since J and some other friends will be running that. But I am already signed up for the full. I have been training for the full now for 11 weeks. I want to do it. I want to PR. Hell, I want to run a sub-4 marathon and I am working toward it.

More about running tomorrow in the rundown of the week. I am kind of feeling upset and not really wanting to talk about it any more. Especially after Karen's @$$ whooping run this morning.

College football is officially starting in my house today. J and I have the Buckeye game on the television right now. They are playing Miami of Ohio, which typically would not be an issue of a game at all. Unfortunately, so far, they are down three points. It is going to be a rough day here in my household if the Buckeyes lose this one. We have spent the last year getting excited for Urban Meyer to be here, and now...

Ok, ok, change...  BEST.CATCH.EVER just happened. Seriously. I have never seen anyone catch a football like that. So now that the "Urban Meyer era has officially begun" (quoted from the Big 10 Network announcer) here is something extra cute.
Yes, this happened last night. My two snuggle-pies were actually snuggling together! Long enough for a picture. That did not last too much longer after this picture, but I am going to treasure it because it was darling and they were big sweeties.

So - to finish this - GO BUCKS!