Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Training and Future Plans

Now that I am through the MMGCM, it is time to figure out what happens next in my training. It is time to figure out what my next goals are and where to begin. I have tentatively started to draw up my training plan, I have pulled out a few races that seem like that might be a good fit, and now I am just needing to chat with the husband and draw up my official plans, including registering.

So far, here is what I am thinking. I will start the summer going for my 1:49:xx goal again.
The Cincinnati Half Marathon used to take place in October, but this year it was moved to the end of June. Admittedly, I am a little bit nervous about trying to race at the end of June when it might be super hot. But it sounds like Karen is going to shoot for a PR in this race as well, so at least I will have someone suffering with me.

As I mentioned the other day, I would like to run a full in the fall. I toyed with Chicago, running for charity as I did not even enter the lottery. But then when it came down to it, trying to raise $2000 (or more) scared me a little bit. So someday I might enter the lottery for that one, I suppose.

Right now my focus is a little closer to my hometown.
There are a few things appealing about this race.

  1. Close enough to my mom's house that I would not need a hotel. 
  2. The idea of an international marathon is pretty fun
  3. Plenty of time to train (the race is mid-October)
  4. DETROIT (in some ways, that is enough)
But there is a second option as well.
This just became an option when tweeting with my fellow GCM ambassadors last night. Sounds like this is the plan for all of them. I have heard it is a good race, and it will be fun to do something with them again, even though none of us run at the same pace! 

But first, I need to get the husband on board.

Monday, April 28, 2014

MMGCM: Race Recap

Well, the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon has now come and gone. It is hard to believe that we have already come to the day when the race was to be run. And now that day is past, and we move on and recover from the hard work that was put in.
I am glad that I made the decision to run that half, even though I was considering the full. I know now that I have gotten through the race that the full would not have been suitable to the time that I had to put into training. With Addie being around now, and J working Saturday mornings for a long portion of the late winter/early spring. I hardly had the time to do the long runs that I did do, and I definitely did not necessarily go as far as I had originally planned.

I guess that means I should give a rundown of the race as well as the results.

I was scheduled to work at the expo from 1-4pm as an ambassador. Prior to my shift, I went to pick up my own packet and check out what is going on at the expo. You know, any discounted shoes, clothes, etc. I also signed up and got worked through my a chiropractor. I have been having a good amount of hip pain. Things have been feeling very tight lately, and I figured that I should at least see what a chiropractor had to say about that, especially since it was a free visit. I explained to him the tightness that I was having, and he had me lie down and started poking around. As expected, when he got to certain points, I definitely flinched and tightened up. He gave his opinion on what was wrong, taught me a few suggestions, and made some recommendations for what I should look for when I am down here as far as the best things that I could do to get well.

We were scheduled to work at the information table and just answer any and all questions that came our way. The most frequent questions that we received were "where can I find out my bib number?" and "do you have copies of the race course?" We learned the answers and how to handle them quickly, and the three hours that I was working flew by.
Here is the whole gang at the expo, we had a small overlap of our shifts where all 5 of us were together. We had a great time together over these last several months, even though we all just met in person only that afternoon.

On Sunday morning, I had a rather normal morning, unfortunately, prior to this particular race. I am always running behind. So I had my alarm set for 5:20 am with plans to meet some friends at 6 am. And at 5:50 am, I woke up. Naturally, I was in a complete panic, I dressed as quickly as possible and ran out the door. No breakfast, but I did at least remember to bring the gel I purchased at the expo, so I would have a bit of fuel on the course.

I ended up at the University at 6:15, choosing to park in a location different than I had the previous two years. Talking to others at the expo definitely helped me with that. This way I had time to use the restroom, I had time to stretch and see my friends, and I had time to get into my corral (B) and get myself in a position that was comfortable. I was slightly behind the 1:50 pacer, knowing that it takes a while to get my legs warmed up and not wanting to push hard right out of the gate. If I did that, I might just quit.

I don't have any mile splits or anything, as I just ran naked. No watch, no phone, nothing. I am glad for it, otherwise I might have really stressed myself out over the pace that I was running (or not running).

I crossed the 3 mile mark at 26:13. We were in Ottawa Hills, which is the hilly (if there is a hilly) section of the racecourse. I was running at an 8:44 pace. The next timing mat was at the 10K mark. This section was after I had warmed up and I was feeling pretty good. I plugged through the next 3.2 miles at an 8:25 pace. I started to wear at that point and doubt my abilities. I was starting to feel the fact that I was undertrained for the distance. I was comfortable with the speed, but I certainly was not comfortable with the distance. I never ran over 9.6 miles (that downtown run), and I was feeling it.

For the last half of the race, I slowed down a bit, but luckily not too much. I ran the last half of the race at an 8:33 pace. This allowed me to finish the race in 1:52:19, or an average of 8:34. This is a 16 second PR (from the Dayton River Corridor Classic, which was a course that only measured 12.8 miles) or a REAL pr (from the 2012 Mason Half marathon) of 1:33, which is a great improvement!

So I may not have made my A goal (1:49:xx) but I did reach my B goal (PR).

My Uncle Joe, my godfather, ran his first half yesterday. His goal was under two hours and he made it in 1:58.
I am glad that we have a picture together. :)

And my little peanut came to see her momma finish. She did not stay very long, because it was pretty chilly and windy, and I did not want her to spend too much time outside in that cold. My mom had her wrapped up in a blanket. But we did get a picture when I got home.
I love that little girl. And her shirt says "future running partner Addie" and we received it from Karen at the baby shower. I think she was proud of mommy.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fruits & Vegetables - Delivered!

Now that Addie is starting to eat food (as opposed to just breastmilk or formula), I am started to get more cautious about the way that J and I eat. We are not the greatest eaters, and how can we make sure that Addie eats well if we are not? In addition, as a mom who works, I am not so great at getting healthy things prepared, because easy is always better.

We do pretty well with whole grains and lean proteins, but in general could use help in the fruit at veggie arena.

Enter Green Bean Delivery.
How does this work? From the Green BEAN Delivery website:
Green B.E.A.N. Delivery is a fresh, new way to order your groceries online and have them delivered to your door! We offer a flexible service that gives our members a connection to many local farmers and artisans. You decide what produce and groceries you want by customizing your order.
We provide Free Home Delivery!
It is a membership based service where you can choose how frequently (weekly? biweekly?) your produce bin is delivered to you. You must have a standing order of $35, which is the cost of a small produce bin, and you can add other grocery items to your bin as well as change the items you are receiving or the quantities of them. Everything is delivered in high quality packaging with cold packs, etc, which you leave out for them to pick up when your next box is delivered. 
My first bin contained a great variety of fruits and vegetables, that I am planning my meals around. I am looking forward to using them all and trying new fresh items!
I was not compensated for this post in any way, I just am excited about using this great service!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Final Prep: The MMGCM

This weekend is the big goal race. I have been working hard (at least as much as I can) to try and be prepared for a half marathon. I set the bar fairly high for myself, and I might pay for that on Sunday morning.
Luckily, I do know that I am feeling strong. I am feeling capable of at least some of what I want to do. All of my speedwork has gone well. I have managed to maintain the paces that I needed to. I have not always logged the miles that I have needed to, but I am happy with the way the speed portion has gone. I have raced well in my two races thus far this season. That has given me a bit of confidence, especially since one of the races was a 15K, so fairly close to the actual race distance for the weekend.

I have also found out that two of my Oiselle teammates are also racing this weekend in Toledo, and we have tentatively planned to meet at the post-race party to get a picture together, not to mention just meeting each other. I am definitely looking forward to meeting those ladies!

I have gone on three runs this week, just trying to keep the legs moving. I have done a quick and relaxed 5K on Tuesday, Wednesday and today.
Here is what I have been doing. Running the exact same route, every day. But hey, I am logging the miles that I am supposed to, and that feels pretty good. The legs have been feeling light, and strong, so that is all I can ask for.

AND I have officially received word on my bib number.
You can track me using the race joy app!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Race-Spiration - I feel it

I tried to watch most of the elite coverage of the Boston Marathon yesterday. I wound up getting pulled into a meeting at 11:30, which unfortunately had me out for the men's and women's finish. I went back and watched it later, while continuously refreshing the leaderboard on my phone. I apologize to those who I was in a meeting with yesterday, because I was potentially a wee bit distracted.

However, I have hit a new level of motivation that I honestly have not had since my first (and only!) marathon. Last year after all of the tragedy in Boston, yes, I was motivated, however, I was pregnant, and feeling it. And very shortly after that, my pregnant running career ended because of my broken elbow. Not being in that situation this year (read: not pregnant and hoping not to fall and break a bone!) my motivation levels started to SOAR yesterday.

I think I may be ready to commit myself to the marathon. I think I may be ready to say, "ok, I am ready to run 26.2 miles for fun again." I have not been feeling that way in a long time. I think that was a little bit feeling weak and slow from not training for so long, and just being exhausted from being up so frequently with the baby. I have been living in a state of sleep deprivation for a good amount of time now, and that definitely left me lacking motivation to get out and run long.

And then when I finally started to have time to get long runs in, I started running harder than I might have been ready to run, which left me feeling sore and exhausted. I definitely was not following the pace recommendations that the runcoach program gave me. And I think that literally hurt my legs and also hurt my motivation because everything was hurting.

I have a renewed sense of self right now. I have a renewed sense of pride of being a runner, being an American runner. I can't help but feel proud of Meb and all of the other Americans that raced yesterday. We all know that Shalene is feeling emotional about leading so far into the race and then falling off even if she did run a PB. And I feel emotional just watching them. It is good to know (silly as that may sound) that I am emotional about Boston this year. It tells me that I was having legit emotion last year, rather than just preggo-hormone emotion.

So. The marathon. There may be one in my future after all. I have a few prospects on the horizon in my mind, and now I just need to talk to the husband and see what he thinks about the time involved in marathon running.

More to come.

Were you inspired seeing Meb run yesterday? The other Americans? Seeing Rita Jeptoo get her third Boston win?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quick Update: new home, race ready

With the way last week went, with everything going on with packing and moving, I have to apologize for my lack of writing. Now that my life will be going back to normal, I am thinking that I should be able to get back into the daily posting routine. And I MIGHT even have some time to pen a few additional posts that I can schedule to post on days when I may not have time. I am going to cross my fingers that I am able to do that, because it feels like I just kind of got things rolling and making progress with this thing, when something gets in the way (um, life) the lil ole blog falls by the wayside. I would like to stop with that.

It is Marathon Monday in Boston, so naturally, I have the race streaming on my laptop, and I am following right along as I would want to. I don't think the boss quite gets it, although my former boss definitely did, as he was a marathoner himself. I am thrilled to be watching it. I feel like a part of Boston today.
This is the shirt I bought at the Pig expo last year. :)

My goal race is coming up in less than a week. I am not going to review my week in training, as it was light, but I got in my last long run, as I was supposed to, so I am quite pleased with that. So I am ready for the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon.
I have lots of racing coming up in the next few weeks, and watching Boston has me ready to go.

Are you inspired from the Boston coverage?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekly Workouts: Week of April 7

Another week has gone by and we are now less than 2 weeks away from the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon! It is hard to believe that we are now at the point where we get to start relaxing our runs, and finally starting to taper.
Or if you were me, you might not need to taper, because you have pretty much been slacking this entire training cycle except for three weeks in a row were I had 9-10 mile training runs that I did at a pretty good pace. Ha!

Last week I set a goal to run 4 times AND to get in at least one day of OTHER workouts (and I did not count packing, although I did plenty of heavy lifting!) and I met that goal. It was not exactly what I really wanted as far as distances or paces, but I met my most basic goal. So that means I need to consider myself a success on the week, even if somewhere in my head I am feeling disappointed (spoiler alert: in my head I feel disappointed).

Here is how last week shook out in the workout scene:
Monday: 40 minute full body circuit workout (squat jumps killed my hammies!)
Tuesday: 4 mile run, easy
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 3.1 miles, easy
Friday: 3.1 miles, easy
Saturday: 6 miles, easy
Sunday: rest

1 strength/circuit workout
4 runs
16.2 miles

Definitely not the best week overall, but I guess I need to be happy with what I DID do, rather than get mad at myself for what I didn't. My legs were sore and tired all week from that strength workout, so every run was slower than I would have liked, and every run hurt.

How were your workouts last week?

Friday, April 11, 2014

NOT Running

I am making an effort to log some miles (and some workouts!) this week. It has not been a terribly easy week for me, but it has been better than times past. I set a goal to get in 4 runs - which is what the runcoach program has scheduled for me. Running at lunch, I frequently do not log the mileage that is required of me, but just getting some mileage is good enough for me right now.

I also wanted to do SOMETHING other than run. After all, strength training was my first love, before I could even run a mile without walking!

So every now and again, I like to create a little circuit that will get my heart rate up AND involve my muscles. Here was what I did:

I am not a personal trainer, I just do what works for me.

Let me know if you try it!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Balancing - An Act

Work-Life balance.

If you are a woman with a career, regardless what your personal situation at home is (kids, no kids, spouse, live in significant other, single as they come, group of gal pals, a dog and a pint of Ben & Jerry's) you have no doubt heard that terminology. I have been hearing it pretty much every since I graduated from the University of Cincinnati and started my career at a large public accounting firm.

And maybe it is a term you haven't heard, because it it something that you just innately "have" (and those of us who struggle with it are jealous of you). But whether or not  you are familiar with it, it seems to be something that is more in line with things that women think about than men. Obviously, that is not a hard and fast rule, but it seemed like in my BIG JOB it was much more preached about in emails to the women's group (there was not a men's group), than it ever was in full company emails or meetings.

The term to me means finding a way to keep up with your career (even be successful at it!) and keep your home/social/outside of work life in balance.

When you work in public accounting, this becomes more and more difficult the more you move on in  your life, and admittedly, a lot of women leave public because of this. I left public accounting before I was married or had kids because even then I was feeling like I could not do anything that I wanted to do. I couldn't exercise or do shows or anything like that because I would be stuck at work late frequently.

Now with a husband and a baby, it is even more important to me to have some flexibility. After all, how could you not want to spend a ton of time with this little nugget?
I definitely have struggles all the time. My job, while it has been wonderful in terms of balance, has definitely changed since returning from maternity leave. But I am continuing to work on it. I am trying to keep up with my job constantly and trying to enjoy my time at home in the evenings and on weekends. It is a changing process, but I am not sure how it will all turn out.

Any balancing tips from other working women out there? How do you manage to make everything happen?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Home Update - 9 Days

I realize it has been quite a while since I last updated you all on our home and progress there. We are now 9 days out from moving. In 9 DAYS we will close on our new home and be completely out of our old one. My last update on the house was brief and here.

At our current home, we had a few issues that needed to be taken care of, most of which J was irritated about, although I never would blame him for any of that. We were very flexible on this house when we bought it, and so a lot of the things that came up in inspection were things that we decided to ignore, or adjust ourselves because they were not that big of a deal. Well, I guess that kind of bit us in the butt, because they wanted those things fixed.

So we have had a plumber in. They got the timing JUST right on their inspection with the plumbing. Argh. Basically, we had been in the basement checking out plumbing about a million times over the winter because of how extremely cold it was (below zero frequently!) and with the issues that we had been having with the dishwasher. Not sure if I even wrote about that, but because of the freezing cold temperatures, a valve in our dishwasher froze and broke. Our brand new dishwasher that was less than one year old. Ugh. Regardless, that meant we spent a lot of time tracking the pipes in the basement and stuff, trying to make sure that nothing froze and nothing was leaking.

But then, inspection day rolls around and BOOM, there is a leak in the pipe. Honestly, when we saw the inspection report we were like "no way. We have been down there 100 times at least, there is NO WAY there is a leak in that pipe." We went down there and sure enough... Sigh. So ok, we have to get that fixed. The plumbing honestly ended up not being that big of a deal. It was pretty straightforward. The amount it ended up costing us was less than we had anticipated, and we know the work is done, and done correctly, so we can check that off the list.

The other BIG issue was electricity. Admittedly, the things that were called out on the inspection were things that were called out when we moved in, but we were nice to the sellers (they were going through a divorce and were just DONE) and let these things go. And now, the new buyer wants it taken care of. We live in a 90 year old home, naturally some of the electrical work is a bit outdated. And as the electrician said to me, code is changed every three years! I guess that keeps them working, right? So we had some issues in the attic that had the chance of being QUITE pricey.

This morning we had the electricians in to take care of that. They gave us an estimate based on the worst case scenarios. So it was high and definitely stressed us out. Lucky for us, that was simply worst case, and it ended up being a good bit less work than that, and they were out by about 2 pm (anticipated 5-6pm) so even if NOTHING else, we saved on the time.

And then there is THIS beast.
Yes, totally NOT a good picture, but it was taken through my car windshield for my dad. But that is it. That is the new house. We have big plans for it and for where everything will be and find its place. We will have a new bedroom (and so will Addie) and there is enough space to store everything. There will be a home for my treadmill and for my Flying Pig posters (I am going to have a workout room where the treadmill will go!)

I will have a house tour coming up soon, I hope! But for now, that is all I have!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Glass City Marathon: Last Minute Details

We are just over two weeks out from the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon now. It is hard to believe that we have gotten here already. If you have been following along with my sporadic training posts, you know that this training round has been particularly difficult for me. I have struggled to find the balance between work and family and running. But that is what I am trying to do with my blog in general, use it to find that balance and maybe offer some help to others who are looking for it as well.
Regardless, let's get into some of the more fun logistical stuff that you need to know for race day and the time prior.

Where do I eat?
The Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon does not have an official pasta party, however, there are definitely some great sites to get a great Italian meal in Toledo. Here are a few suggestions:

Zia's: located on the Docks in downtown Toledo (pretty much at Promenade park), Zia's is a delicious Italian staple. It is a Mainstreet Ventures restaurant, which, if you are familiar with Ann Arbor, has a few other awesome places!
Calvino's Restaurant: This is where I am eating with a few friends who are also racing. This is a small place located in a strip mall, but do not let it's appearance fool you. The food is AMAZING. They also serve "Hot Mama Bread", reminiscent of Rosie's Italian (another Toledo place).
La Scola: This is a little further away from the University, but not too far, and is worth the drive. This is my dad's favorite Italian Place. The food is awesome, but a little bit pricier.

Are there start corrals?
YES! This is the first year that the marathon is utilized start corrals. If you recall, when you registered for the race, you entered a predicted finish time. You will be assigned a corral based on that time. Your bib will have your corral placement on it. There is no wave start.

Can I change corrals?
Unfortunately, as your bib has already been sent to the printer, corrals needed to be changed prior to March 31.

Will there be gu/gatorade/water/port-o-loos on the course?
Of course! Lemon lime gatorade, water and various gu flavors (some caffeinated, some not) will be available at various points along the course. In addition, there are plenty of restroom stops if you need that as well. Here are some details on that.

Water Stop #MileMarkWaterGatoradeGuOrangesVaselinePort-a-John
START0xxx xx
23.5xx  xx
34.3xx  x 
45.4xx  xx
57xx  x 
79.9xx   x
811.3xx  xx
912.5xx  xx
1013.5xx   x
1114.6xx   x
1216xxxx x
1316.9xx  x 
1417.58xx   x
1519.25xx xxx
XX21.2xxxx x
1622xx x  
1723.3xx  xx
1823.8xx x x

As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity through out the marathon to make sure that you are hydrated and fed to get to the finish.

What about when I finish the race, meet all of my goals (or need to get over the misery of NOT meeting my goals), and want to celebrate?
There is a post race party in the parking lot just outside of the Glass Bowl! As a finisher's gift, you will receive a Glass Mug (Glass Bowl, Glass City, etc) that you can fill up at the party. So come and meet up with your other friends, have some food and beverage and enjoy some music by Zak Ward. And come find me. I hope to be celebrating a big PR with a big beer! :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekly Workouts: Week of March 31, 2014

Another week of training down, and another long run achieved. I am finally back on track with my long runs, which I am very grateful for. We have less than three weeks to go until the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon.
So let's do a quick rundown of last week's training.

Monday: 5.1 miles at 8:41 pace
Tuesday: walk 0.5 miles - home with sick baby
Wednesday: off (close)
Thursday: off (close)
Friday: 4 miles-runch at 8:33 pace
Saturday: 9.3 miles at an 8:35 average pace
Sunday: off - but TONS of packing

Total mileage: 18.9

I took a few too many days off last week, I think, but with it being close, I couldn't help it! Plus with a sick little lady A, I had to be home with her on Tuesday, which limited me doing anything. So I am glad to have gotten in three decent runs, even though they definitely were not easy runs, and my body was hurting.

I am hoping that this week goes even better now that Addie is feeling better and now that we are through the busiest time of the month.

How were your workouts last week?