Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Running with No Plan

I struggle when I do not have an official goal in front of me. Right now, I don't. I am working out because I love it. However, I struggle to find the motivation when I do not have an "official" training plan. Karen and I made it through all of the Columbus training with runcoach. She loved it to the point of buying it for a year! I would consider it, I think, for the future. But right now, I am kind of trying to get by on my own. Once the first of the year hits, we will get a run group schedule (focusing on the Flying Pig & Flying Pig half) so I will have a little more structure, but until then...

I started working on my own calendar last night. A way to keep my mileage between 20-25 miles per week, fit in some cross training (wow, it has been a while!), and do strength training as well. Since discovering that blog that has the CF workouts on it daily (with at home modifications!) I have been trying to use that as strength training, not to mention for some explosive power (yay jumping!) because that will help with the speed I think. At least eventually it will.

So Monday I got back to the workout grind. I have decided Mondays and Fridays will be crosstraining days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday are run days, and I will do the Crossfit WODs as time allows. And if it is a run day and the CF workout includes running, I will modify it. (That happened last night!) Here is Monday's breakdown:
The weights are light for right now. I am kind of trying to readjust to strength training again for the first time in a while. I have just not been consistent with it through all of the running. I know that eventually I will not be able to do these WODs at home because I will get stronger and my at home free weights just will not be challenging anymore.

Like I said in my above workout guidelines, Tuesday's are the start of my running week. They are also going to be Tempo Tuesdays!
Yesterday's WOD included running, so I took that out and added KB swings instead. I think I can easily bump up on the weights for both of these workouts, so I am going to maybe start hitting the gym at lunch on some days to do them? That way I will not have to go back after work and it won't interrupt my day with the hubs. :)

What do you do for running when you don't have any race goals?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frankenmuth 2012

On Saturday morning after my run, I got dressed and ready for my Aunt, sister and cousin to arrive at my mom's house. My sister was coming by herself. My aunt was picking up her daughter on her way in and then we would be hitting the road for the annual Bronner's/Frankenmuth trip. So at my mom's, things have always been a little Christmas intense. Ha. By that, I mean, we always had a VERY decorated house. My mom had one of those villages. We had a 9 foot tall REAL Christmas tree. My mom actually replaced the framed pictures on the walls with framed Christmas pictures. So yeah, intense.

Most of her family is the same way. I guess that is why we have the house to house Christmas party every year (I promise there will be a better entry on that this year!) And that is also why we do this trip year after year and always manage to see/do something new and different.

Here are some pics at Bronner's. Nothing specific, but just to give you an idea of the magnitude of Christmas awesomeness we are talking about here.

I took those pictures fro Karen so she could see it. I wanted her to come with us, but with Bradley being a baby and with her being gone overnight the weekend before (in Columbus) she didn't feel like she could do it. Maybe next year.

Here are some interesting facts about the business:

  • Bronner's was opened in 1945 by Wallace "Wally" Bronner, then only 17
  • In 1951, he was looking for window displays for the holidays, found other business people searching for the same, and hired his first full time staff member to help him meet these needs
  • By 1971, there were 3 Bronner's locations in Frankenmuth
  • in 1977, Bronner's moved to it's current location, consolidated, and was on 25 Christmas Lane
  • in May of 2005, the final (most recent) expansion opened, making this location a total size of 5.5 football fields
  • Bronner's features over 50,000 trims and gifts
  • Bronner's commerical decorations supplies cities, malls and businesses
  • Bronner's retail supplies stores and shops for resale
  • Here you can find out more about Wally.
  • Bronner's supplies the Santa suit annually for the White House Christmas Party
While we were there, I purchased a Christmas gift for Angela and Mark (Jason's sister and her husband), Stephanie, Karen, Alyssa (my sister's stepdaughter), a Rudolf figurine (my sister bought the same one - and 
they also have Clarice, the Bumble, Hermy, Yukon Cornelius, and Santa - which gives us the perfect opportunity to get something for ourselves every year) and my mom got me an ornament, as she always does. It is a tradition. I understand that a basket of blueberries may not be the most traditionally Christmas ornament, but I just LOVE the fruits and veggies ones. They have always been my favorite, ever since my first Old World Christmas ornament (it was an orange slice - see? fruits and veggies!)

Other stops on our trip yielded a Christmas gift for my Grandmother, and one for Trent, Rachel's step son. So I would say that I had an incredibly successful trip, with limited purchases for myself (hooray! I am working on it!) I feel like I am really pretty close to being done with Christmas as of right now. I still need to get out my Christmas notebook and see what I have and write it all down. That way it will be easier for me to see everything, but I think I am getting close, and it is not even November yet!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Chat with the Coach

Sorry for the lack of weekend posting. Someday I will be on top of things enough to get weekend posts written in advance so if I feel like ignoring my computer for the weekend, I can, and a post will still go up! But for now, this is how I roll.

I ended up being able to leave work early on Friday (YESS!!!) so at around 11:30 I met someone for lunch and that was it for the day! My lunch meeting was with Brett, who is the coach for the run group that I have been training with for the past year. I had emailed him earlier in the week asking him if he could meet up, and when he offered me Friday, I took it! I just felt like I needed to meet up with him to kind of chat about my race (since I was so down about it) and kind of reaffirm the growth that I have done over the last year as a runner. Admittedly, and you all have seen it, I have felt pretty down since the marathon, or lack thereof, this past weekend. I wrestled all last week with feeling like a failure, especially when my knee felt good to go after just 2 days!

The lunch was pretty good. I didn't get around to hammering out any actual official goals at that time, but I felt a little bit more confident. Brett told me about a time when he injured his knee playing hockey and was going to run a marathon 6 weeks later. He ended up pulling out after only 1 mile. I know that stinks, but hearing it from him made me feel a little bit better. I mean, it always helps to hear that someone that you look up to has suffered from some of the same issues as you, right?

But we chatted about some things that I had been thinking about, some things that I had forgotten about as well, and when I left panera around 12:30, I felt better about myself and my running than I had all week. And thank goodness too. I needed a little confidence boost as I am going to be trying to plan out 2013 and all of my goals related to that year here soon.

I drove home after our lunch, and got to my dad's house around 4:45 pm. We hung out for a while and watched the news on his couch before heading out to dinner to Jed's, which is my favorite Toledo Sports Bar. We watched a little of the college football game that was on, and were amused at the Halloween costumes worn by the waitresses. A slutty Alice from Alice in Wonderland waited on us. And with my dad and I, the extra cleavage and leg did not result in a larger tip. Lol. But I am sure that her other tables were a bit more interested than we were!

After dinner, I went to my mom's. I was sleeping there since we were planning on leaving her house around 8 am for Frankenmuth! I got up early and was out the door by 6:30 am to get my run in.
Not bad, not bad, and I was definitely pleased with the negative splits. Plus, no knee pain at all on this run! No knee pain AT ALL is a huge deal. I have been having it kind of on and off for the majority of my training cycle, so I was really happy.

I also found this picture at my mom's. Sorry for the crappy quality, but it is a phone picture of a picture.
Look! It's me! I was running ON A TEAM! Lol. I am guessing I am about 7 in this picture. I don't think I ran on the cross country team much after that.

I will update further about the trip later or tomorrow. Suffice to say, it was successful!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Workouts & TOLEDO

First things first, I am headed home tonight. Going to Toledo for the first time since August. It feels like it has been a bit longer than that, although I know it is not. The last time I was there was when J was playing golf in an outing for his little cousin who was killed last winter. I am sure that I wrote about that at the time.

This trip is for the annual girl's trip to Bronner's and Frankenmuth, MI. I briefly mentioned last years trip here. The trip always involves, me, my mom, my cousin Megan (who you will remember from our trip to Cleveland this past fall), her mom - Aunt Laurie, who is my godmother, and most times my sister. My sister did not usually go with us in the early years of this trip. She was always busy with boyfriends and stuff. I always let my boyfriends do whatever they wanted on this day so I could take this trip. J gets it. He is staying home this weekend by himself. Well, with the dogs. If you will remember, last year I took Teek home with me. But I think Teek needs to stay with him this time, they spend too much time apart for lovahs. lol.

I plan on getting some Christmas gifts while we are there. For sure my SIL, Angela, and potentially Stephanie and Karen as well. The three of us plan on doing a Christmas gift exchange ($15 limit). We will see what calls out to me when we are there (but I do already have ideas for both of them!)

I am pretty much back on the horse running wise. Things are still a bit tight in the knee, but it is getting better every day and I am starting to feel more like my old self. Yes, I realize it was just 4 days ago that I got hurt. But I was starting to feel a little bit LOST without it.

Yesterday I ran 4 miles. I am not sure on the splits, but it ended up being in right around 9 minutes/mile. I used the last 1000m as part of yesterday's WOD. Here is the workout.
Those thrusters were rough! I am a little disappointed in myself because I feel like I used to be so much stronger before running took over my life. And I am sure that I was. So I guess I just need to be better about lifting from here on in and it will come back right?

After yesterday's oh-so-rude wake up by the doggie, I decided to get up early this morning and hit the gym. The actual GYM. Not just get up and run (as I did for nearly the entire summer) but pick up a barbell potentially!

So I started out with three miles on the treadmill (I told you guys, my body just LOVES running!) I took it pretty easy and just did a little progression-type run. 1 mile @ 6.3, 1 mile @ 6.4, and 1 miles @ 6.5. I ended up with 9:23 pace overall. And pace wise it felt pretty effortless, which I was happy about. I finished the run in 28:13. I have run 8.25 miles so far this week, and plan on squeezing in at least a few more in the morning tomorrow. YUSS!

After the run, I did another WOD from Crossfit Mamas. I am LOVING her workouts. Here was this mornings:
Once again, my strength (well, lack there of) baffled me. I used to be SO STRONG. But I will get it back, I am sure of it.

I made the decision while doing squat cleans that I am going to go out and buy some PVC piping. Then I am going to use it to help with my form for some of these Olympic lifts. I am familiar with all of them, but I would like to make sure that I am doing them properly and stuff before I start adding weight. Especially since I am not using a box for Crossfit right now.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easing Back into my Comfort Zone

(You know, that comfort zone where I get to RUN!)

My knee has been feeling pretty good the last few days. The pain is gone and the tightness is going away as well. I have been stretching daily. Icing twice per day. Wearing the knee sleeve (you may remember them from early in Pig training) when I work out. It has only been a few days since the disaster that was the Cbus marathon, but my legs are ITCHING to run. I cannot wait to get back out there (which is why I have been so zealous - is that a word or is it only "overzealous" - with my recovery and healing). I don't even know what I am planning on doing next at this point, but I am ready for SOMETHING.

And so I decided to give it a try with the day's WOD from Crossfit Mamas. Here is my workout.
And I ran the 2000m in 10:25. That is an 8:19 pace. What? The running felt really good too. Much better than the cleans with 30# - lol.

Today things are feeling even better than they did yesterday. I am hoping to get out for a run this evening again. We shall see how it goes. I think that this week will be used to experiment a little bit. And then maybe after that I can start hammering out some goals. I hope. Because I tend to flounder with none.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just Couldn't Stay Away

Okay, I can't stay away for too long. I took Monday off completely from exercise. I didn't even go and walk around my office building like I sometimes do. (Once, I wore my garmin. Each lap around the building is just over a quarter of a mile.) When I woke up Tuesday, my knee pain was nearly gone (now, WTF? I can't get through 13 more miles, but after 1 DAY of rest it starts to feel better?!?) but it was feeling a little stiff. All of these things are great signs, I believe. As it turns out, maybe icing helps!

So when I got home from work, I decided to test things out a little. And just see. See how my knee felt, see how things were doing, so I got myself out there and decided to try a little at home WOD style circuit. I modified something that I had seen online and decided to set it up so I could just give it a number so if I do it again, I can easily compare what I did to see if I am improving. Here it is!

I did this workout of 5 rounds with 90 seconds on, and 30 seconds rest in between sets. I needed those 30 seconds, especially after the jump rope rounds. I was much more ON with the jump rope than I expected to be, so that is good. So I just counted the reps that I did during those 90s (and the plank counted as 1, assuming I didn't fall. If my knees hit the ground - they didn't! - then it was a zero). Then I added 15 for the 15 lb KB and 30 for the free weights (15 lbs per hand) that I used for the upright row. That was how I came up with 893 for my total score. I want to beat it next time!

Apparently it was a pretty good workout. I woke up this morning and my upper back (as a result of the rows) was hurting. I am glad for that, because as all of you know, I have been slacking off on the strength training, big time, in favor of getting more miles.

This is a reflection of my still uncertain next fitness goals. I have no idea what I want to do next. I am not ready to train for another full marathon. This is because I think I am mentally NOT THERE yet. I don't know when I will be there again. So I don't want to push myself to do that when I am not feeling it. I am sure that it will come back, but I need to give myself a break. At least for a full season. So for sure NO SPRING MARATHON, and we shall see what happens otherwise.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Columbus (Half) Marathon: The Race

So where we left off...  Karen and I had entered our corrals after she scolded me for tearing up. It was around 6:45 in the morning. With a 7:30 am race kick off, we had some time, but really did not want to go anywhere. We had already used the port-o-lets twice, and there was some in the corral with us, but my nerves were starting to get the better of me at this point, so I felt like staying in one place might be better. I had no doubt that I would complete this marathon, after all, I trained really hard. I ran through the middle of the night once on no sleep for a training run. I had successful speedwork sessions and some great marathon pace long runs.

I had moments that tested my resolve as well as runs that I thought would be the end of my running career. I had a whole week in June where I ran only 6 miles. I went to Mexico for a week and skipped my long run. I had weeks at a time where my heart was not in it, but I kept running. I set myself A, B and C goals to keep myself from being too disappointed (but I REALLY wanted that A goal!)
A. Under 4 hours. The time I have focused all of my runs around. The goal time entered in my training plan which designed speed workouts to help me hit it.
B. PR. This honestly should be pretty achievable. I ran 4:26 in my first marathon. It was 80* and extremely hilly. We stopped for nearly 6 minutes to use the port-o-lets. A PR was easily within my grasp.
C. Finish. Hopefully with a smile on my face knowing that I worked hard and I am still doing something that not too many people do. Ever. And I have done it twice.
I was standing in the corrals reflecting on all of this, and saying a little prayer.

Karen and I were set up fairly close to the 4 hour pacer, and hoped to stick with her for as long as we could! Heck, even in front of her a little. I also hoped to negative split the race, so I wanted to start out on pace, but conservatively. Running comfortably fast. This is why I did all those tempo runs, right?

Eventually the rock anthem of all marathons came over the loudspeakers (a little Springsteen, obviously), and the gun sounded.

Karen always kept a few steps ahead of me. I was not worried about it at all, because even though we were training partners and stuff, we both knew that we had to run our own races. We started conservatively as we headed down Broad Street. But within goal pace times, so nothing to worry about.
Mile 1 - 9:16
Mile 2 - 9:07
Mile 3 - 9:10

We continued along Broad Street. We saw the wheel chair racers on the other side of the road (it seems as though they started around the 10K mark. I am not entirely sure how all of that worked out). We stopped and got water at a water stop, we kept our pace up. We went through a lovely area, with some beautiful homes. It was definitely the kind of area that I would like to live in, if J and I were to choose to move to Columbus. (Although, I am afraid if we did that, J would want our kids to be Buckeyes, and they wouldn't be because it would be "home" for them, which would break J's heart - lol!) Around mile 5.5 we were running along a main road (I actually think it was Main Street!) and a DJ was out and he was playing Ganghem Style. And yes, I pulled off the dance while running and maintaining my pace.
Mile 4 - 9:02
Mile 5 - 8:59
Mile 6 - 8:45

- By the way, my Ganghem Style is EPIC.

Eventually we ended up BACK on Broad street. This was the area where we saw the wheelchair racers on our way out. At Mile 7, I had enough of "holding it" and decided to make a port-o-let pit stop, and hope that relieved a little bit of pressure and would continue to allow me to run on strong. It helped and once we were out of there, we kicked it up a bit to keep that mile time in check.

The whole time this was going on, I was dealing with a bit of shin and foot pain. Admittedly, I outright lied to my foot doctor when I saw him the week before the race. I had definitely been having a decent amount of foot pain (same foot as I fractured a year ago) over the last few weeks, but part of me was (and is still) convinced that it was imaginary. I had taped up my shins prior to the run, just like I did for the Bourbon Chase since I had been regularly suffering from shin pain during my shorter tapering runs (and also during the Dayton River Corridor the prior week). The tape was helpful, but at 7-10 miles in, it was still hurting. But not unbearable. And we were keeping a great pace, so I was feeling awesome about the race. I was on track for goal A!

Mile 7 - 9:58 <--- potty break!
Mile 8 - 8:42 (got it back!)
Mile 9 - 8:40
Mile 10 - 8:49

We were running through German Village and the crowds were still spot-on, lining the streets. There was a band or a DJ every mile (just like the water stations) and I had taken my first gu and my first drink of lemon-lime gatorade. (Honestly, I hate lemon lime, but it is what they always have on courses if they are going to have it, so I have just adjusted to drinking it. It doesn't make me sick, so I go for it!)
From Marathon Foto

The above picture was right around mile 10. They had a crane created archway over the road and two photographers over above us. It is always nice when you see the photographers and you are still feeling great. Then you can get some more epic race photos. Apparently around this point was when Jes and Andrew (Jes, my Flying Pig training partner and Andrew, one of my Bourbon Chase teammates) saw Karen and I. They were running all over the course to see us and Jes's brother who was running his first full.

This is where things start to get real. At 11.5 miles in, something just snapped. I don't know what it was, I didn't HEAR anything, I just FELT it. I was running close to the curb on the street, so I was a little bit on a slope, I think. It was my right knee. The next time I stepped down with my right foot, my leg buckled underneath me. I pulled it together, but I was in SERIOUS pain. There was absolutely NO WAY that I was going to run another 15-ish miles like this. So I made a huge decision. I was going to turn off at the half. I just couldn't do it.

I started crying as soon as I made the decision, but I knew it would be better to finish something, even if it was not what I intended to finish, than to finish nothing. I kept up with the running though and got Karen's attention by tapping her arm. I told her what happened, that I was pulling out at the half, and that she should go on. She shouted "I love you!" and sped up! I decided that I was ignoring this feeling, and I was going to finish strong, no matter what and no matter how I was feeling since I couldn't run the whole race without walking it in or even the dreaded DNF (yes, I was getting a DNF already, but at least I would be crossing the finish line!) So I changed up some music, turned it WAY up, and brought it home.

Mile 11 - 8:50
Mile 12 - 8:56
Mile 13 - 7:48 (!!!)
Mile 0.18 (Garmin) - 1:10 (or 6:37/mile!)

Half Marathon official finish - 1:57:13. An official Half PR, since the Corridor ended up being short.

I fell over the finish line in such a dramatic fashion only an experienced theater actress could have pulled it off. Haha. One of the medics immediately came to my attention and I spent a little while convincing them that other than my knee (and my pride/ego) I felt absolutely fine. Eventually they were convinced and set me up on the concrete, taped me up, and taped a bag of ice to me. They handed me my medal (blue for the full marathon), I tried to refuse it as I was feeling super ashamed about the whole thing. I would rather go no medal than have one for something I didn't do. But they insisted, so instead of putting it on, I just held it, stayed wrapped up in my space blanket and sat on the ground.

I had crossed the finish line at just under 2 hours (clock time) and new J would be hoping to finish around 2:45 (chip time). I didn't have my phone, so I couldn't track where he was (based on his crossing of the 10k mat) but I knew it would be at least 2:45 clock time and it depended on how long it took him to start other than that. But this did not stop me from looking for him immediately. At around 2:30 clock time, I got up and made my way to the back of the finish area, they wanted to keep people "behind the white line" if they were waiting for others.

When I saw J, I hobbled over to him as fast as I could and wrapped my arms around him to let him know I was so proud of him (a half marathon is a HUGE accomplishment. I have to keep reminding myself of that as I feel so down about myself). We got a finishers photo together.
And that was the end of our Columbus Marathon journey. I am not sure where I am going or what I am doing next as far as lifting/running/fitness. So I guess we will see...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Columbus (Half) Marathon: The "Before"

And it is over. It went absolutely NOTHING like I envisioned, despite the fact that it started out perfectly. I will detail the weekend soon, but this post is about the race. And all things RUNNING.

J and I were staying in the Marriott at the Columbus Airport along with Karen and her mom. We had arrived Saturday and had dinner, checked out the expo, etc. But Sunday our day started early, with the alarm going off at 5:25 am. The corrals opened downtown at 6, closed at 7 and the race was to start at 7:30 am.

After waking up, I started to get dressed. I had laid out my race outfit the night before and J's too, and was shocked at the differences in the involvement of women's running ensembles and men's. I mean, YES, I was wearing a more involved outfit than I have at races past, but there are definitely more things involved in my usual prep than his. I taped up my shins since they have been giving me a few problems, and slid my red ProCompression Marathon Socks on over the tape. I put on my shorts (I was wearing compression shorts for this race) and my sports bra and then made my breakfast. I had packed a cinnamon raisin bagel thin for both J and I along with some peanut butter. He didn't want one, so I repacked his.

I ate my bagel and finished dressing and drank some coffee (yay for decent coffee in my hotel room!) before we were heading downstairs to meet Karen. We were driving her down to the start and her mom was going to come and meet up with her husband later to see her at the finish and stuff.

I am not sure if I mentioned this previously, but Karen and I order custom sleeveless tech shirts for the race from One More Mile. I cannot recommend them enough if you want a custom shirt for a race. They are the company at expos that has awesome shirts that say things like "If Found on the Marathon Course, Please Return to the Bar" and "I love Running, Except When I am doing it" (one I almost bought at the expo, because that completely describes me!) We were able to get shirts within a theme of each other, but we each got the style we wanted, it said what we wanted in the colors we wanted.
 Yep, I run for beer. Duh. With a little bit of inspiration on the back. Side note: Karen has a 20 week old baby, Bradley. I know I have posted pictures of him, etc, in the past, but he is 20 weeks old and Karen is Running.A.Marathon. Hello? Amazing! And yes, Sparkle Skirts are amazing and very fun to run in!

Karen's mom took the above pictures of us and then headed back to bed. We loaded up in the car and J drove us downtown, the same way that he had gotten all of us there the night before. We didn't even need the directions this time. We found a parking lot that was only $5 for the entire day, and got parked. We were checking out the intersection that we were at, and Karen announced "4th and Long" which of course, Jason was like "I like it!" and we knew that he would not forget that one.

We walked to the start. Used the port-o-lets and I said goodbye and good luck to J as he headed further down the row of  corrals. Admittedly, when I hugged him (SUPER TIGHT) I started to cry a little. My favorite guy... running his first half... so so proud. lol. After he walked away, Karen snapped me out of it. "hey - no tears." she said. I nodded, pulled myself together, and we made our way into corral C.

I will write about the actual RACE tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2012

2 Days Out - We GO Tomorrow!

Yep, I am officially less than 48 hours away from being on the road and starting off my second marathon. I am scared outta my brain right now, but trying to just ignore it because I know that I trained hard and worked hard. I have eaten well (but not too much) this week, I have skipped alcohol. I have run lightly throughout the week - a 5K on three different days. I am taking a rest day today and running 1-2 miles tomorrow morning, possibly with my husband.

After the short run tomorrow morning, I am going to run to the grocery to get anything that we might need as far as fuel to take with us. Peanut butter, coffee cups, bagel thins. That is the plan as of now, that way we can eat something in our hotel room before the race in the morning while we are getting ready. And we will not have to worry about scrounging around for breakfast when we get downtown early early early on Sunday morning. The race facebook page has been really specific about the fact that getting downtown is going to take a long time, so I have in my head a super early morning. Corrals open at 6, close at 7, and the race starts at 7:30.

After my quick trip to the grocery, I will head back home for some last minute packing and stuff to make sure that I have everything that I need for the race. My outfit is completely planned out. I think I am going to bring a back with clean dry shirts and socks (or flip flops) for J and I to check at the start/finish. That way he can get something warm and dry to get into while he hangs out and waits for me to finish. I haven't done a bag check ever before, but it might be a good plan for this race since he is running as well.

I have to go through our goodwill bag tonight as well to find some throwaway fleece and/or hoodies. I know we have got to have a thing or two around that will work for this.

Karen says we are going to DOMINATE. I don't want to let her down!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

3 Days Out, And NO BEER

So J and I have gone out to dinner twice this week so far. We went on Tuesday to BW3 for our weekly date night. It was actually a bit more date-like than it usually is at BW3 because J actually sat at the table with me the entire time. Normally when we go to BWs, J plays Golden Tee until our meal comes and then he sits and we are so focused on food we never talk to each other. That's terrible for a date, isn't it?

But when we went on Tuesday night, the tables over by the Golden Tee machine (that we usually sit at) were all full! Maybe it was that we were getting there a little bit later than usual or maybe it was because it was "wing night" and we usually go on "boneless night" but J was pretty peeved about us not getting our regular table. It honestly made me laugh. But then we had a very attentive server who kept his beer full, and he seemed to calm down a bit about it.

I, on the other hand, was facing day one of taper lameness. And by that I mean my usual at BW3 was changed.
Water with my wings please! No miller lite for me this week. I have made the decision that I am not drinking at all this week. I just want to be as prepared as possible for the race (and maybe then a post-race beer will taste even MORE delicious) and so I am cutting it out. I am working hard to stay super hydrated as well. So I am being a good girl and sticking to water. I cannot say that for J obviously. I figure he will skip beer on Saturday during the Buckeyes game (which is a pretty big deal to him!) but that is it. For the Pig I only skipped Saturday and had a beer or two when we were out on Friday before, so I am trying something different.

Last night was double date night and once again, NO BEER! This time Leah was drinking beer (and actually finished a beer, which seems abnormal) and so I really wanted one.

But I am hoping that cutting it out completely for the entire week leading up to the race (rather than just the day before) will make a difference in how I feel on race day. Cross those fingers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Taper Crazies - 4 days out

A note regarding the half that I posted a race recap for yesterday that turned out to be only 12.66 miles... The race director has been informed and has acknowledged this error. He posted the following on the race's facebook page "Sorry for the course being short today, I was told it was 12.66 miles. Miscommunication with the Dayton Police, ugh. Results are posted: with your pace measured at 12.66." Following that he came back with this post "In case you want to know: the course was suppose to go north on Edwin Moses Blvd, over the Washington St bridge, onto Veterans Pky and then down onto the recreation trail. Instead you were directed across Stewart St bridge, onto Veterans Pky then to the rec trail." So it is nice to know that it has been acknowledged and it likely will not happen again. I had a great race, and thought the course was beautiful, and I definitely would consider running this again!

We are only 4 days out now from the Columbus Marathon and I am living with the taper crazies on a daily basis. I am beginning to get very nervous for this race and what is to come with it. I am capable. I keep trying to remind myself of all of the time that I have spent on my feet this year. I am trying to remind myself of how many miles I have run, how fast I have gotten, how much time I have spent on the track and that I should be able to reach my goals.

I am trying to focus on other things. I am trying to get an obscene amount of work done as a lot of things have been assigned to me this week. I am trying to work on not getting overrun with POST race things as far as fitness goes (yet) because I want to be able to really work hard to get through this marathon as opposed to forgetting about it and focusing on the "next" thing.

What are your best ways to cope with the "taper crazies"?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dayton River Corridor Classic "Half Marathon" Race Report

Like I said in yesterday's entry, Karen and I ran a Half Marathon on Sunday to get our final long run before Columbus out of the way. And why wouldn't we want to do that racing? It seemed like a no brainer at the time, as racing is way more fun that long training runs. Plus getting a new tech shirt and a medal also has to factor into that decision heavily.

I made the decision to treat this run as a tempo run. It was going to be a race pace goal for me, so I wanted to take it quite a bit quicker than I would normally run a long run. But I felt like if I could maintain just faster than MGP, I would feel much more confident going into Columbus this coming weekend.

I arrived at the University of Dayton arena (where the start, finish, and parking was located) around quarter till 8. Karen was planning on arriving around 8, so I went ahead inside, got my bib and my shirt (this race was NOT chip timed) and used the bathroom (REAL bathrooms. I was pretty darn excited about that!) After that, I got back in my car to hang out and wait for her. She knocked on my window a few minutes later, scaring me. She said that my bright blue car (I named her Betty the Blue Beast) is pretty easy to spot even in a large parking lot with a lot of other cars!
Oh, yes, she is that obnoxiously blue.

We got her all settled, used the bathroom a few more times, and finally we were off to line up at the start. We decided that we wanted to be fairly close to the start so our finish times and garmin times would be pretty close to each other. That always makes it a lot easier, I think. It was not long then before the gun went off. Karen took off ahead of me, that was our plan. She really wanted to PR and her current PR is quite a bit faster than mine, so we chose to run our own races.

We started off running along the main drag in front of the arena, and quickly turned over a bridge. The run appeared to focus on the river. It was not long before we were going downhill to be on the river level along a bike path.

Mile 1 - 8:42
Mile 2 - 8:46

We continued along the river bike path. We went under a lot of bridges for the roads above, and I felt like my garmin might be losing satellite every now and again, especially when we got to a sign for mile 3 and my watch said 2.56. I shouted to the folks behind me (as I could hear them commenting on the same thing) "WOW! I am running even faster than my garmin!" It was at that point that we all started to notice that something was a little off. We kept on running though because at that point, it was early enough in the race that we just felt like there could have been a little bit of a mix up. Around mile 4 was the first water station. We were on the bike trail still so there were also "real" bathrooms at the stop. I was still feeling good though, so I proceeded without water and without the bathroom.

Mile 3 - 8:49
Mile 4 - 8:53
Mile 5 - 8:55

By the time we got into the 6th mile (by my garmin) they were still measuring at the next mile (so the sign for mile 7 came at 6.56) but I guess everything was really consistent with my garmin, so I at least knew where I was exactly. We left the bike bath and headed into a park. We wove around the trails in the park, past a little playground and through a small wooded area. It was at that point that we saw the leader on his way back - leading me to realize that at least this small portion through the part was an out and back. We continued through the park, over a small footbridge and somewhere after that I saw Karen on her way back. She saw me as well and we waved across the field we were separated by. She seemed to be slowing down a bit from where she started but I didn't have time to worry about her. I finished the "out" part and started my turn around, taking in a gu around mile 7. We were through 8 by the time we left the park and headed back out onto the streets.

Mile 6 - 8:55
Mile 7 - 8:39
Mile 8 - 8:59

Right around their sign for mile 9 (therefore at 8.56 by the garmin) I had my first encounter with Steve. I was wearing my t-shirt from the Glass City Marathon (my original goal race in the spring where I ran the half) and Steve asked me if I came all the way down from Toledo for the race. I told him no, I was originally from Toledo, but I live in Cincinnati now. (By the way, when I saw the guy who was leading, HE was from Toledo! I could tell from his singlet that said Dave's Running) Steve was probably in his early to mid-60s and he told me that he had run this race every single year (it was the 36th this past weekend). We didn't talk too much then as we headed back down to the bike trail to continue the race along the river, this time on the other side of it, the same side we started on. The next time we spoke was when there was a small section of bike trail out, and there was a large pile of stones/gravel under the overpass and I made the remark to Steve "wow, a little bit of trail running here!" We happened to be running alongside a guy who was sporting a t-shirt that said "Dayton Barefoot Runners" and had, you guessed it, completely bare feet. I felt a little bad for him.

Mile 9 - 9:03
Mile 10: 8:56
Mile 11: 8:58

If you were anywhere near here on Sunday, you will know that it was windy. We were getting gusts of around 30 mph and it was starting to kick in around this point. We ran up a large hill to get back to the main road which would take us back to the finish and I was really starting to feel blown around by the wind. It was starting to get to me. I stopped and walked about 10 steps when I felt a hand on my back and heard Steve say "C'mon, you can do it" and I started running again. It had become apparent that this race was going to end up short after all, as I could see the finish line at the arena. I kicked it as much as I could in that gusting wind and headed for home.

Mile 12: 9:08 (stupid wind!)
Mile 0.66: 5:49

Total 12.66 Miles in 1:52:32

As you can see, my "0.56" at the mile marks turned out to be dead on, since we should have been at 13.1 miles. I didn't worry about that at the time though, even if I had run the rest, I would have PR'd! Steve finished right behind me and I turned around and gave him a sweaty hug (we were both sweaty so it did not matter) and thanked him for the kick in the pants when I needed it most.

(I looked pretty good, all things considered, don't I?)

Thank you Steve, wherever you are, for picking me up and getting me a big PR!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Celebration and a Half Marathon

Sorry everyone. I decided to take a blogging break over the weekend. I just had a lot going on, and so, this got left behind! But I had a great weekend overall, and I am glad to have had it, whether I was writing or not. It was just nice.

I had plans with some old friends that I had not seen in quite a while on Friday night.
(Not from Friday - from my wedding - but it does give you an idea of the two ladies that I am talking about!)

It has been an obscenely long time since the three of us hung out in old time manner. The last time I got together with them there were a few stragglers that I just could not get used to. I know that there are always going to be new friends added to the group, but that day I just could not take it. Basically a friend (not pictured above) sells Premier jewelry and she was busting out her catalog and trying to make sales at our girls night out. So I needed a night with just these two. That is Lara on the left and Julie in the middle, and we met when we all were involved with a production of Oklahoma!

The three of us met at the Wine Guy Bistro to share some reds (we always go red) and a few dishes.
We had a great evening, and I did not get home until almost 11 pm (which is really too late for me!) but I guess everything was worth it. Next time we get together we are planning on a little workout (probably just a walk) and cooking at home because we can make it cheaper and healthier. I mentioned my spaghetti squash success and it sounds like we are putting that on the menu!

On Saturday I had made plans with Karen. We were heading out to Irons Fruit Farm for a little pumpkin picking and apple hunting. Bradley came with us.
Look how cute he is looking like a farmer in his flannel! He is my adopted nephew. I have officially decided that.

We had a lovely time at the farm. I bought a bag of apples, a pumpkin for J and I to carve, some apple butter, a cider donut (my afternoon snack), an apple fritter (J's afternoon snack), and a carmel apple. I did my best to get everything that J was interested in getting, I was hoping to make him feel interested in coming to the fruit farm at some point in time. I know that once we have kids it will work out just fine. But until then, I am not sure that I can convince him that going to a farm is a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than watching a football game.

When I got home, J and I went out to dinner at Tap House, as usual. The Buckeyes, Bearcats, and Tigers all were playing in the evening and so being at the bar was kind of ideal. That way were would not have to play channel changer all evening going between games during the commercials. I, of course, would have been more than happy to exclusively watch the Tigers game, but J needed the Buckeyes, and having the Bearcats was just a nice bonus.

On Sunday Karen and I ran a half marathon. Full update from that later on. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

New Trial Shoes and a BIG WIN!

I know I have not talked about running too much this week. I have been getting my running done, but runs in general have been rather uneventful. Not doing too much speedwork. Trying to do some runs around maintenance pace, and some runs around marathon pace.

Wednesday I got out and ran at lunchtime. Keep it just faster than marathon goal pace:
Just faster than 9min/mile average pace, which I feel is a pretty good place to be. My A goal for Cbus is under 4 hours (I don't care how much under 4 hours to be honest!) so that averages out to be around a 9:06 pace. I also like the progressive nature of this run. I am pleased with that.

Yesterday I went about my run a little differently. J was not going to be home last night. He had softball (as always on Thursdays!) so I planned to run in the evening and to run with a group. Fleet Feet has a fun run on Thursday night, and the Asics rep was going to be there, so I decided that was definitely the way to go. After all, I am an asics wearer and the new model of my shoes came out in April, and I am on my final of three pairs of them so I need to check out some newer models.

He brought with him the Asics Gel Lyte 33. It was a lighter weight shoe than my standard asics, but I was definitely more than willing to give it a shot on a short run.
It was a super fun shoe based on those colors, and that was pretty much the only bit of reflective stuff I had on, so I was a little grateful for them since I have asked for running safety stuff for Christmas, but obviously do not have any of it yet! I pulled the insoles out of this shoe and put my regular ones in (from the doc) just to be certain of how I was going to go about the run.

I set out with the group and it immediately became apparent that it was not going to be a fun way to go about the run. They had plans of a walk/run and their run pace was a 10:20 mile. Now, I am a HUGE advocate of the walk run for some, but it is not for me, and not good when I really need to get quality miles since the quantity is not there right now. So I stuck with them for 3 minutes until they got to their first walk break, and then I took off. I ran in these shoes for 4 miles, and honestly, felt pretty awesome. I was not experiencing any of the shin pain that I have been having when wearing my normal kicks, which was definitely awesome.

I am not entirely sure that the deal is with the shin pain. I am kind of wondering if it has to do with the fact that I am alternating between styles of shoes, which also alters my form a bit. I am definitely much better about running "properly" midfoot strike and all that, when I am running in my Newtons and when I ran in the above shoes than when I am running in my Cumulus. I probably just should have asked the folks while I was at the running store.

Uh, also, this happened last night:
#MustSeeJV. We'll see ya'll in the ALCS.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mile Markers: In Review

I have joined an online blogger bookclub. This is being run by Jamie of From Couch to Ironwoman - Jamie just ran her first marathon a few weeks back. Check her out!

This bookclub is going to be focused on running books which is a good thing since that is the majority of what I have been reading anyway! The first month's selection was Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong.
I actually read this book over the summer and just revisited a few of my favorite chapters from it for the club to address in my review. My copy of the book does not look like the above, however, it looks like this instead:
That is the cover on my kindle. Red. Duh. And now that I have it, I rarely buy books that are in paper format. I love the kindle! I recommend it if you are thinking about it, even if you "like the feel of paper in your hands". That was my logic and actually HAVING the kindle blew that feeling away. It it the best! I took 15 books on vacation and only 1 of them was actually taking up space in my carry on.

Sorry for the side note, I just figured everyone would want to know about my undying love for my kindle.

So Mile Markers has 26.2 chapters, and each one is focused on a different subject. I feel like it is kind of relating your home life/work life/ running life all into one. But since this is a running book, it uses running terms to do so.

Chapter (or Mile Marker) 8 is entitled "Endurance." I am getting ready for my second marathon on October 21, and this was one of the chapters that I really put my heart into, since I do not want to have issues with my own endurance here in a week.

This chapter talks about Kristin doing a fun run with her kids (I am really hoping this is in the cards for me in the future!) and the fine line that you walk between encouraging them and coddling them. Not to mention the fact that she has to split her attention between 3 kids and give them all support and encouragement. I think that is the thing about running. That is the thing that I have learned and I have enjoyed. Throughout my life I have been "pretty good" at a lot of things. Decent enough to make teams as a high schooler, earn roles in plays, be sorta pretty, get pretty good grades, but never was I "great" at anything. Jack of all Trades, Master of None. That ABSOLUTELY describes me.

Running works for people who are like me. I know that I will never be an elite runner. I know that I likely will never BQ. But there is ALWAYS room for improvement in running, and you are only needing to focus on beating YOU. And that is someone that I can beat. Again and again.

Maybe someday I will earn that BQ. Maybe someday I can be the "fast friend" but for now, I am enjoying myself. I am feeling strong. I am avoiding stress (or running it out when it comes!) and I can't ask for more than that. Thanks to Kristin Armstrong for that reminder.

The Tigers Blow it, and I get no Sleep

Baseball is going to be the death of me! lol. I was up WAY TOO LATE watching the Tigers, and now they do not play until 9:30 again tonight! Not to mention the Vice Presidential debate being on tonight, and I kind of would like to watch at least parts of that as well!

Because I was watching baseball last night, I did not get up to run this morning.
(Yoinked from the Tigers facebook page).

I don't feel too bad about not getting up to run though, as it was our first morning where it was literally freezing out. It was 32* at 6:30 when I ended up sitting on the couch with my pups and the news. And I am just not ready yet for that kind of weather. It is like I have already forgotten about the horrible heat of the summer. I remember saying how much I enjoyed bundling up and running in the winter compared to that, and now it is here and I am wimping out. Ha!

All I have to say is that if the below happens tonight, he better not blow it.
We need him to really do well tonight, unlike yesterday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Less about Running, more about Skittles

Sometimes when you are tapering and therefore feeling stressed out (and you cannot alleviate it by running!) plus some busy things are going on at work, this happens:
I needed to taste the rainbow a little bit yesterday. It was just a little fun size bag. And yes, I always eat my skittles in that fashion. I dump out the entire bag and sort them by color. And I eat the purple ones first. And yes, once at my last job (which was well over 2 years ago now!) I dumped one of those three lb bags on my desk to sort it. And I put it in dixie cups and ate them over a several week period. No wonder when they were trying to cut people I made the list. Lol.

Like you might have noticed yesterday, taper gives me the crazies a little bit. I begin to feel rather anxious during taper and I have a ton of extra energy that I need to get out. Unfortunately for me, I had already run yesterday in the morning, so I had to forgo running again (trust me, I thought long and hard about doing it anyway!) in favor of a little packet of skittles.

When I got home last night, I prepared my very first Dream Dinners meal. You might remember that it is on my 30 before 30 list, and I made it over there last week to get my first 18 meals (each meal comes with 3 servings - one for me, one for J, and one for my lunch the next day!) so I had chosen 6 items to try. Yesterday we did Mexican Meatballs, which is actually one of the only ones that Karen had not tried previously (she is the one who got me thinking about Dream Dinners):
There they are ready to go into the oven! When they were done cooking (35 minutes @ 375*), we served them like tacos on warm tortillas with a bit of cheese! They were pretty delicious. Veggies on the side!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Taper Brain Causes Too Much

If I wasn't last week - and in a few ways it did not feel like it - I am for certain now into my taper. My plan is to run around 20 miles during the week this week, finish off with a half marathon on Sunday and then coast to race day.

Easier said than done, right? I mean, tapering makes me feel like a slug. I think during taper for the Pig I actually hit the gym a few times to lift HEAVY. I think I might have even done a few of the live-fit workouts at that time. What was I thinking? I wonder now if that was the mental block that I had around mile 10 of the Flying Pig. Weight lifting anxiety.

I have not made that mistake this time around. I set myself a very large goal (a 26 minute PR attempt to get sub-4) and I did not want to screw it up. Therefore, I have been sticking with upper body and core work, mostly. And by that, I pretty much mean push ups and planks. Therefore I am sticking with body weight work so as to not overdo anything, but I am still keeping things strong. This will change (I hope!) once the marathon is over, but for now, I want to stay strong with running.

I am starting to work on post-marathon goals, but I am trying to focus now on the marathon. I feel like I should ignore any "after" thoughts for two more weeks and just focus on this goal. Focus on staying strong and getting what I have worked really hard for.

Today marks the start of me trying to work on my marathon playlist. Right now, I am just going through to pull songs that have a good cadence for my goal time. I figure I will pull a lot of music that I like and seems like I might like, more than the 4 hours of music that I want, and then work on the order of the songs and eliminating some. I don't want more than 4 hours of music because I don't want to feel like I have wiggle room.

Yesterday J took the day off work to get some needed rest and to get some things done around the house. He got his run in and cut the grass and went to kroger, although I am not sure what he went for since I had just gone the day before and I didn't see any new food in the fridge. Except one non-food item that was refrigerated:
Hooray! Shock Top Pumpkin beer! I love it. J and I each drank one of these with our dinners last night. I love enjoying the fall seasonal beers. Way better than any other season.

J made a second purchase at Kroger...
I am loved.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Baking while the Hubs is Away

Monday morning. Monday slacker Emily has resumed. About 5 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off at 4:35, J rolled over and put his arm around me and pulled me in. At that time, the executive decision to skip my run - well, not skip, but push it off - was made. I packed some running clothes and I will go get 5-6 miles at lunch time, I think, but it was nice to be close to J this morning. Not to mention that it is starting to get cold here in Ohio, so I was very cozy under our down comforter.

But I will get my required weekly mileage in this week even though it is definitely taper time now (ugh. I HATE tapering!) no worries there!

But the reason that I was extra eager to stay in bed with J today (lots of mornings I probably would have put up a fight!) was that he was out of town AGAIN last weekend. He was playing golf (I think I addressed that in a weekend entry). He said that if he does the trip with this same group of guys again, he wants to do it in September. Apparently October is just too cold! I get that. My run on Saturday was pretty chilly as well.

But with J out of town and me trying to keep myself occupied, I did a lot of things. And by things, I mean baking. It started on Saturday night. I had the Tiger's game on TV and half a can of pumpkin in the fridge that needed to be used before it went bad. I googled for pumpkin bread recipes and came up with a few ideas, and my result was pumpkin oat quickbreak.
Thank you instagram for making my cell phone pics look good (well, "artsy" anyway) - as I never get out my real camera to take pictures of anything. No recipe, as I took measurements of nothing. Yep, that is the kind of baker that I am. Lol. Competition dieting got me to be really good at eyeballing measurements (every now and again I take a measurement of my eyeballed one and I am always SUPER close) so now I even BAKE without measuring cups.

It was pretty tasty! I subbed plain greek yogurt for butter in this recipe (just an idea I had and I decided to go with it) which upped the protein and decreased the fat. Not sure if that is something that you would ALWAYS want to do, but it worked out in this case.

On Sunday, I wanted waffles. But the problem I find with breakfast foods like waffles (and pancakes!) is NO PROTEIN! (Well, very little protein) So I modified!
High protein waffles. 1 serving of 2 waffles has 20 grams! I ate 2, and froze the other 4 that were in the batch. I figured that they would make decent toaster waffles for later, and I was right (I ate two for breakfast today!)

And here is the Z-man simply because he is a sweety pie.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Columbus Marathon: Week in Review

It is kind of ridiculous to think that I am down to only 2 weeks until the Columbus Marathon.
Next weekend is the last long run, I will run approximately 20 miles during the week, and then we have our weekend half marathon. We are actually planning on racing next Sunday, one last time before we hit C-Bus for the goals that we have been working toward since we met in June.

Next weekend will be the Dayton River Corridor Classic Half Marathon. It was not expensive, the mileage lined up with what we wanted to do, and a little extra running medal action never hurts.

So here is the week:
Not a bad week. Not a great one either, but I think that got a little messed up on Monday when I was so tired from the weekend. If it was not for that on Monday (nearly no miles!) I think I would have been ok. But I will just take it as it came, and go with it.

And finally good luck to my Pig training partner Jes, my Bourbon Chase teammate Andrew, and my friend John - all of whom are my teammates at Buckeye Running - as they run the Chicago Marathon today, they are making great progress!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A 10K PR? Does this count?

Another week of marathon training long runs has come and gone. I will talk about the week's training tomorrow, but today was another long run, and I was pleased with it.

J is out of town again this weekend, he is on his final golf weekend of 2012. He even asked permission to go. I gave him an all clear on that since who knows what will happen with him and golf once we have little J's running around here! I figured he could have one weekend more where I didn't get to spend it with him! I mean, last weekend when he was out of town, it did not really feel like I was home alone since I was travelling for the majority of it as well. Last night I was feeling a little anxious being on my own. Not sure what anxiety came in, but I am sure it was mostly just a little fear about sleeping alone in my big old house. What if someone came to get me?

I got up at 6 this morning (no one came to get me) with my pups. We went outside and I made a bagel and peanut butter for breakfast, well, a bagel thin (cinnamon raisin!) with peanut butter. I also had a cup of coffee.  I am testing out some different food choices and stuff before the marathon. I figured today's longish run would be a good test, especially since we were planning on racing a little during the run!

I met Karen at Buckeye at 7:15-ish. Our plan was 7:30, but then when we both got there early, we decided to head out for our run. Our plan was to do around 8 miles, then back to the store to run a 10K, then head back out for the last few miles. We didn't know how much the "last few miles" were going to be, it kind of depended on how we felt after the 10K. We were unsure if we were planning on racing it or not when we first arrived.

We both wound up hammering the 10K, Karen even more so than me. I ran it in 51:06 and Karen in less that 47 minutes! It was not an official race though, no bibs or anything, it was the Women's Health Run 10 Feed 10.

What do you think? Does my PR count?

Friday, October 5, 2012

30 Before 30

So I am not sure if this has EVER come up on the blog before, but I am going to be 30 next June (gulp). Yep. 3-0. J is already 30, so I am sure that he is not even thinking about the fact that I will be, coming up here soon.

I know this is something I should have thought of back in June when I turned 29, and I kind of did, but now is the time to really put it into action, not that my head has cleared at least a little bit from accomplishing the Chase (which I have been thinking about since last January since we did fundraising for it!)

I want to do a "30 before 30" list. 30 things that I would like to accomplish before I turn 30 years old. I have until June 22, 2013 to do this, and I am really going to set my heart on it.

There you have it. 30 goals to accomplish before June 22, 2013.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Post Bourbon Hangover

Considering the crazy weekend that I had with lots of running, lots of hills and very little sleep, I think I came off of it pretty well.  I ran after getting home on Sunday (desperately seeking 50 miles for the week!). I have run every day since then as well. My timing has been a little weird with evening runs on both Monday and Wednesday, but normal 4:45 am runs today and Tuesday.

But suffice to say, Monday through Thursday I have run 19 miles. My shortest run was on Monday because I think my legs were a little wiped out from the weekend. And last night I did a quick 6-miler at faster than marathon goal pace (even though I am tapering I am still trying to keep some miles FAST).  As a result of some leg fatigue from running last night around 6 pm, I decided to run easy this morning and turn the beep on my watch off (so I wouldn't even look at it at the mile splits!)
So although the miles were easy, and my average pace was pretty slow, I am always glad to get through them. I am also glad to see a negative split show up on my garmin. That is enough to keep me happy for the day.

It is hard for me to believe that I am already into my taper for Columbus. I am just slightly over 2 weeks out from this race, and I cannot believe that time has gone by so quickly since the Pig. At this time one year ago, I was in the boot, I had registered for my first half marathon (the Glass City in April), and the Pig was becoming a twinkle in my eye from the gal who would become my training partner for that race, Jes.

I have been missing my Bourbon Chase teammates since I left them on Sunday morning. I am in that post race depression state, and I am really hoping that the final PUSH for Columbus gets me out of the rut!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bourbon Chase 2012 - Part III

So as I said, we were planning on meeting early in the morning at 4 Roses to start our final leg.
Lucky for us, since it was so early in the morning (and we had run through the night - this was not a problem at Jim Beam the previous day), instead of just having a little taste of the Bourbon, they provided us with a different way to try it!
Oh yes, Bourbon truffles. They were super delicious but very intense. They were just so rich! But much easier to try the bourbon in this format first thing in the morning that drink it, so I was glad about that. This way I still get to say that I tried it, whereas if it had just been a cup, I might have skipped out.

Just a little while later, Sarah was off, which meant less than 15 miles until I was running my third, final, and longest leg of the relay. Parking at 4 Roses was a little bit of a cluster. Not because they didn't have the space, because they had plenty of space. But we had been dealing with a decent amount of rain so the field that they had us park in was a MUD PIT. Our driver, Ben, was super skilled, so we had no issues at all with the mud, but we did watch people get stuck and slide around a lot.

We made our exchange with Erin and Sarah and headed off to the last Distillery before our final major exchange.
Wild Turkey. In reality, I honestly had not though too much about Wild Turkey prior to this race. It was one of those Bourbons that was not necessarily of the highest quality (I mean, it is less expensive at the liquor store, so it must not be, right?) so it just was not on my list of must tries for the weekend. However, a lot of that changed when I arrived there, just because the set up was so great.

Wild Turkey had a very large parking area (even for all of our giant vans) and a trailer with port-o-lets in it (along with three others, to ensure there were enough!) which was nice right upfront! In their tasting room, they had multiple kinds of Bourbon to taste, and even bourbon slushies (well, they were non-alcoholic, but you could dump your bourbon sample in the slushie.

I decided to keep the honey theme of my bourbon tasting going when it was available, so I went with Wild Turkey's American Honey. Holy smokes was this good. I figure that was a good choice for breakfast. Haha. It is kind of like tea, right? The folks that were behind the bar in the tasting room where also super nice and willing to chat with us about any questions that we had regarding their bourbons and the processes used in distilling, etc. I really do find that super interesting (have you ever seen the Modern Marvels on distilleries? I have watched it at least 6 times).

This particular exchange was also cool, because both the second and the third runner got to run on the grounds of the distillery a little bit. And the Wild Turkey people at the exchange had these gobblers (ok, that is what I called them) at the exchange point as a special way of cheering on the runners. They were basically turkey calls, I guess. And the runner (Runner 2 - Erin) got a special gift for finishing there! She got a flask with the logo of the distillery on it. Let's be honest, that is pretty nice!

We hung out there waiting for Erin to get in (so Tracy could take off!) for a little while. We had gotten at least a smidge of sleep in the van, so we all were out of the van checking things out while we were there. We also took this awesome picture.
Sarah and I on the turkey rocking horses and Tracy between us wearing her butt (she ran in it for this leg!) And shortly after that, Tracy was off (and I was up next!)

At the next exchange point, I got out of the van by myself. The parking for this one was about half a mile from the actual exchange, so I got out of the van and they went to park. I felt like I was there for a really long time. It looked like it might rain a little, and I was pretty chilly (no longer wearing my fleece at this point) and looking forward to getting this show on the road. Here is my final leg:
This Ain't France - It's Ver-Sales. It ended in Versailles. And FYI, it was actually around 7.7 miles, not 7.5. And as it says, it definitely was a beautiful leg through horse country. I was seeing all of the estates and stuff of the thoroughbred farms everywhere, which was wonderful, when I could focus on it. Those rolling hills might not have been as steep as the hills in leg 1, but since they were constant I felt them!

It was on this leg that I finally got my first kill of the race. It was a woman who was running on an all-women's team (like I said, there were seriously NO GUYS running leg 4!) and she told me as I ran past that she had a cramp. I am going with, "no she didn't, I am awesome!", on that one. We had to provide volunteers for the race since someone lives within 100 miles of some part of the course, so it was at this exchange that Tom's (my boss) dad was working. It was extra fun because he knew who I was when I came in and was cheering for me and stuff, so that was very exciting. I ran this leg in an average of 9 minute miles.

At this point, I was ridiculously pleased with myself. You can tell that by the grin on my face!

The final stop on our tour to wait for Jen was Woodford Reserve.
I sort of felt bad at this point. Woodford was open for the day (it was afternoon on a Saturday, so people wanted to take tours of the distillery) and there are hundreds of big white vans there and 6 times more smelly sweaty runners. But I am sure Woodford likes having that many people come through their distillery and seeing everything (not to mention buying things in their gift shop!) or else they would stick to their regular tour business and the exchange point would be somewhere else, right?

When Jen finished there was some Van 1 celebrating since all 6 of us (+Ben) had run our legs!
Things were rather uneventful after that. We went to Jen's hotel room that she and Ben were staying in for the night and showered and fell asleep before heading down to the finish line to meet our team for a one final finish together!
Van 1 at the finish line.
Whole team!

And we did it! We finished as a team in 33:15. Yes, not fast at all, but it was an under 10 min/mile average, and we had estimated a bit slower than that!  We were super proud and are already looking forward to doing it again!