Friday, December 31, 2010

Surprise, Surprise! Key West Style.

From the beginning, David and I never gave each other Christmas presents. Instead, we put our money together for a nice vacation. For the first Christmas, we took a January vacation to Jacksonville, FL (at the time we were living in freezing Indianapolis). For Christmas #2, we didn't do anything. Everything kept falling through and we were pretty preoccupied with moving to Florida on January 1st. In March, I flew home for NC vacation instead. With this being Christmas #3, we were excited about planning another trip. We looked into Tahiti, and then Hawaii. David was so excited about having a long vacation (it has been a while - not to mention we're workaholics). I just went with it ... if he was wanting Tahiti, I was game! :) Well, with some expected upcoming work changes in January and February and a coworker being on maternity leave March-May, we couldn't find the time to both take off for that. So, we decided to take time off from Dec. 21-26th for a Key West vacation! It sounded perfect and we started planning.

We arrived in Key West at noon on Tuesday and spent most of the day walking up and down Duval drinking Pina Coladas. Since we were in Louisville the week before, we were loving the 75-80 degree weather. I think it was in the teens in Louisville. We checked in, ate dinner, enjoyed the resort bar and hot tub and called it a night. Not quite what he had planned, but I had no idea and so it was a great day in my books.




Us - on the way to the resort



David



Me



View from our room


By Day 2, he's planning out all of the things that he wants to do. We wake up early and run and then immediately get ready for the beaches near the Southernmost Point.


Southernmost Point - 90 miles to Cuba

We rent a scooter, grab another pina colada (our first for the day) and then start walking up and down the beaches. We come up to this HUGE pier! We see an enormous sting ray and all sorts of pretty fishes. The water is crystal clear, the sky perfect blue and we're enjoying every minute of vacation. We must look at the fish for over 3o minutes. As we leave the pier, we stop again to look at fish. I mention that I want another pina colada and tell him that if I actually want to drink, he should be excited and go along with it! Ha (I never drink!). He says something in return (I don't remember the exact wording) agreeing and that yes, we can celebrate tonight. I say nothing - completely oblivious to his foreshadowing. A few minutes go by and he says "You never asked me what we were going to celebrate." I look at him confused, and not even seconds later he's pulling a ring box out of his pocket. He says something about spending the rest of his life with me ... but, I'm just so surprised. I wasn't expecting it all that I'm just like "Oh my God, are you serious! For real?? AAAHHH!" I am just so excited and happy and shaking and then he kneels on one knee and asks me to marry him! I say yes, of course!!






RING!!!!



View from Dinner



View from Dinner



Us - Celebrating at Dinner



Champagne the next morning

We enjoy the rest of our Key West vacation! I truly feel like I am the luckiest girl and in the world! I am just so incredibly happy!! I'm excited for what 2011 will bring and hope you all have an amazing 2011, too! :)



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm back ... and to the track I go! :)

Two weeks ago today, I went out for a track workout and then headed to the airport to Louisville, KY. 5 days later, I was back in Tampa but only for 12 hours before leaving for Key West, FL. Finally ... I'm back. I hate to say finally though, because vacation sure was nice and I didn't want it to end. But, luckily today, I was back at the track getting my butt in shape!

Today's workout:

10 x 400 w/1:15 minute rest in between

Goal: 96 seconds

It was 32 degrees and freezing. There was even frost on the field on the track. UGH! I was all bundled up and ran 1 1/2 miles as a warm up. Even still, my legs weren't ready to move once I started. Luckily, I quickly warmed up after that and had a pretty negative split workout!

98 95 95 95 93 92 89 86 86 82

I don't know if I've ever had such a negative split workout! I love 400's though! :)

Afterwards, I almost bailed on the optional mile, but then decided to do it. I didn't race it ... but I ran a 6:55. Not so bad.

I have lots to share from Key West .... but, until I find time to do a fun Vacation/Picture post, you'll have to wait! :) Maybe, I get lots of messages, I'll put up the post tonight!! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas + Snow + Recovery!

I have to make this quick ... but, wanted to say Merry Christmas!!

I got back from Louisville, KY last night and am getting ready to leave for the Keys right now! :) I haven't had any time to check up and read your blogs ... so sorry! But, I wanted to say Merry Christmas!

I'm very ready for the Florida Keys! I was in 20 degree temps in Louisville and it was extremely icy and snowy! I'm over the snow! So glad we moved to FL!

I realized after my last half that I haven't given myself any time off basically all year. So, I only ran twice last week. Track on Wednesday + an 8 miler. It worked out as the perfect recovery week since I didn't have access to a treadmill and the roads were so icy. But, lets just say I'm more than ready to get back at it. I seriously NEED running in my life!! :)

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Half RR

This morning, I ran the Holiday Half Marathon in Madeira Beach. It was only about 30 minutes away from me, so it was very nice to have a normal Saturday and wake up at 5:20AM on race morning!!

I REALLY wanted to improve upon my time from last month. I knew I could do it and I've been training very hard. I tried not to over think everything because 7:20 average pace sounds fast!! Wait, that is fast.

My only real race plan was to run easy for the first 4-5 miles. I was aiming for a 7:40 first mile and 7:30ish pace for the next 3 to 4.

I screwed that up!

After a mile warm up (slow) and some strides, I toed the starting line - or got about three seconds back from the starting line. I felt good. I was in my cute pink tank and little black spandex. I had on my black arm warmers, too! I felt good and I was ready!

As I looked down at my watch about .15 into the race, I realized my average pace was 6:21. Oops! I didn't worry too much, I just tried to slooooow down a lot! I kept slowing down until I crossed mile one in 7:11. Even though I felt great and secretly liked that split hoping I could run even faster than I had planned, I was a little nervous.

By mile 2, I was burning up. I tossed my arm warmers in the bin at Mile 2 ... the bin that promised retrieval at the finish line. Nice!! Mile 2: 7:21

I was trying to find a good pace to stay at but was getting passed and getting discouraged! I was trying to stay sub 7:30. In retrospect, I should have been aiming for 7:40's here ... but I was ahead of game and was playing the let's hold on game instead of "lets run smart" game. Mile 3: 7:28 Mile 4 7:28

Towards the end of Mile 5, we had to climb a bridge. It hurt!! I knew I was in trouble here. I was slowing down and I was only at Mile 5: 7:31

We were turning to go on the Pinellas Trail. I was grateful and hopeful of what that would bring ... including wind coverage. The first 5 miles were VERY windy!!!! Very! Mile 6: 7:36

I was telling myself to hold on until 6.55 (half way). At the Women's Half last month, I was right at 49:00 here. Today, I was at about 48:40ish. A little ahead of pace .... but in a completely different mindset that last month. Last month, I felt amazing! I was excited about being half way done and feeling great and wanted that sub 1:37 and knew I had negative splits in me! I was in the "game on" mindset and ready to push!!! Today, I was ready for the race to be over already and was fading.quickly!

I told myself to that the 7:30-7:40 range was still fine and just to relax and run! Sadly, though, I looked down and was running close to 8:00 miles. Ugh! Mile 7: 7:55

Nothing changed. I was trying to tell myself to pick it up but was honestly just hanging on. Mile 8: 7:52

I just keep tracking along ... I was upset with myself and wondering why I didn't taper at all this week. Note to self: I am NOT superwoman!

Mile 9: 7:58

When I got to Mile 10, I saw a friend. I smiled at her, hoping she wouldn't realize I was behind pace (slightly 2 minutes slower than I was at Mile 10 for the Women's half). Then, I had to climb another hill .... UGH! Mile 10: 8:13

At this point, I just told myself that I could do anything for 3 miles. I was doing the math in my head and expecting a 1:43. Mile 11: 8:13

I tried to push, but I couldn't ... but, no one passed me in those last two miles and I passed one runner. Right before Mile 12, a police officer that was directing traffic told me that I needed to take out my ipod and that it was unsafe and illegal and that he could DQ me. I was pissed ... I took out my ipod and lost even more mojo. Mile 12: 8:01

I thought, "Okay, Jaime ... when you get to Mile 13 ... just RUN!" I ran a 7:05 mile 13 at the Women's Half ... When I hit the last mile, we had to run around this lake on a dirt trail straight into the wind - no shield whatsoever. I just kept thinking ... how long can a mile really be?? 8:26 seconds ... that's how long!! I couldn't run faster and I couldn't kick. Finally, I turned a curve and right at Mile 13 and saw the finish line. I made myself kick .... and finished the last .1 in 32 seconds (6:10 pace). I can honestly say that the only kick I had was that .1 and that I couldn't have started any earlier.

I crossed the finish line in 1:41:52 and was so relieved that it was done!! I am happy that I finished and happy that I pushed on very tired legs! I still have high hopes of breaking my 1:37:35 and I have six weeks until my next attempt!

I had a crazy week -
Monday Tempo - 6 miles at 7:36 average pace
Tuesday - 7 easy in 59:51
Wednesday - Track. 6x800 w/the last repeat at 2:59
Thursday - OFF
Friday - 6 miles in 49:47
Saturday - 2 miles: 8:33, 7:26

No excuses. I need to get stronger and I can. I came in 4th place in my age group .... I will get faster and I will start placing. I love to run - even on hard days like this. I'm proud of myself for toughing it out. I will let myself relax and recover a little this week before hitting it hard for 4 weeks and then tapering at least a little before my next half on Jan. 23rd!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why + Weekend Race

People ask me why I run all of the time. They don't get it. Most people absolutely hate running (except all of you and my amazing running friends) and cannot understand why I not only put my body through this on a daily basis, but enjoy it.

I run because I can. I run because it's something that I love to do. I run to see sunrises. I run to escape life. I run to enjoy time with my running friends. I run to spend time by myself. I run to sweat. I run to feel better about myself. I run to stay in shape. I run to be outside. I run because I like pushing myself. I run to feel the wind. I run because I am able.

Don't get me wrong, I sometimes ask myself the same questions. Of course, I love it. But, I sacrifice a lot of other things for my early morning wake ups and my weekend long runs. Sometimes, I question why. I have to remind myself that I'm not an elite and that I don't get paid to run and that I need to find a better balance. I've been working on this a lot post Apalachicola and am happy to say that my running has not suffered at all - if anything, it's gotten even better with the balance. But, just because I'm not an elite and am not paid, doesn't mean that it doesn't feel good to push. I know I have much faster times in me and that excites me. So, while I will never run a 2:25 marathon and may never break 3:00 in the full or 1:20 in the half ... I do feel like I have better running days ahead of me. I believe in myself and I like pushing to see what I can accomplish.

Enough of the why .... let's talk about the FUN stuff ... like ... I have a race this weekend!

I can honestly say that I just want to run well. I'm trying to convince myself that I can run that fast again, or even a tad bit faster (who doesn't love PR's). But, when I look back at my times that day, they are soooo fast! So, I'm trying to think of the other reason's why it is possible that I could do better:
  1. When I ran my 1:37:35, I had only ever trained for full marathons. My tempos and long runs were paced around my "goal marathon pace."
  2. It was HOTTTT that day.
  3. I didn't run good tangents. Hello, 13.23. That's a full extra minute!
  4. The course was hilly. I climbed 1,041 feet.
  5. I walked a 5K the day before while carrying a 3 year old for over half a mile of it.
  6. It's been three weeks, and I've incorporated half marathon pace into my tempos now.
  7. It's going to be 50 degrees and perfect.
  8. The course is flat.
  9. I am not walking a 5K on Saturday, but instead will do a two mile run: 1 mile easy, 1 at 7:15.
  10. Because if I want something bad enough, I can make it happen!!
There you have it ... possibly the most random post by me, ever!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pure LOVE!

When my alarm went off at 4:45AM and I realized that it was 36 degrees outside, my first thought was to stay in the warm bed. But, I didn't. I got up and decided that I would go to the track. I knew I'd be upset if I didn't!

I got all bundled up in my cold weather running gear (Thank God I lived in Louisville and Indianapolis for the last 3 winters) and headed to the track. I ran a mile warm up to stay warm, took off my sweat pants and was ready for track!

6 x 800
Goal Pace: 3:19
Goal - Hit times, but don't push until the last two because I have a half marathon on Sunday

Times:

3:16 3:15 3:14 3:11 3:09 2:59

I'll take it!! Maybe, I like the cold!! :)

Still happy!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jingle Bell 5K


I decided, on a whim, to run a jingle bell 5K yesterday! I decided to have fun with it. I didn't really want to try for a PR (20:30) because I have a half marathon again next weekend, have been racing and running hard lately AND because I wanted to dress up for the race.

The day before I went to Target and bought some candy cane stripped socks. I bought two pair - one for my legs and one to cut and use as arm warmers. Then, I picked up a cheap Christmas shirt and a candy cane headband to finish the outfit. Sadly, the headband wouldn't stay on and I broke it while trying to force it on. Instead, I put three pairs of jingle bell shoe laces in my hair. Ha.

I warmed up with a mile or two and was ready to go. My friend, Jen, was really wanting to break 20:00 and her ipod was dead! I quickly gave her mine. Note to self: When you aren't going to use an ipod for a 5K, do not put bells in your hair. Ha. Luckily, I was in the Christmas mood, but it was super loud and obnoxious the.entire.way!

The course was actually pretty hilly. It was two loops around the mall. The first loop went by relatively quickly. I was trying to keep my pace, but kept slowing down. I hit the first mile in 6:40ish.

As we started the second loop, we quickly caught up to the walkers. I couldn't believe how much weaving in and out we were having to do. I was a little annoyed and then remembered that I wasn't trying to PR. I wanted to give it a great effort, but had expected this! I pushed through mile 2 in 7:05. I don't remember my last split and .1 but I tried to make myself start pushing around 2.8 I knew I had slowed some, but was ready for it to be over. My legs actually felt good, but my heart was beating fast and I was having trouble pushing!

I finished in 20:56.

It was FUN! It was fun to relax and run and not stress about PR-ing. I would have been so upset if I were aiming for my sub 20 in this race. With the hills and the second loop ... yeah! Besides, i wore knee socks and didn't even wear my speed/racing/lucky charm shoes. They were my heavy Mizuno's that I use for long runs and that have 400 miles on them. Oops.

I can't find the results online, but I won 3rd in my age group. Jen ran a 20:12 and got third in her age group, too!

The pic above was taken at Starbucks, after the race.

Today, I tried to run long. It started pouring about half a mile in so I turned around and only ran 2 miles for the day. My body is tired and I have a half marathon next weekend. I really wanted to get in a good long run, but I guess it will have to wait. Funny enough, as soon as I drove home, the rain stopped and it's been beautiful the rest of the day. I made myself go to Bikram Yoga this afternoon, though. 1 1/2 hour long class. I really needed to stretch out and I think it did the trick!! Hopefully now, I'll be ready for my tempo in the morning!



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Killer Track Workout

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but nothing interesting has happened.

Yesterday was Wednesday, though ... so I can always post about my track workout.

For some reason, I wasn't really looking forward to it. It was super cold (62 degrees), windy and rainy (well, drizzly). UT's track is getting redone, so we were at a middle school and on a concrete track. It was dark and there weren't any lights. Not ideal circumstances.

The workout: 800 800 800 1200 800 800 800

Goal: 3:20 - 4:57 - 3:18

Rest - 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:30, 2:00, 1:50, 1:40

My times: 3:20 3:21 3:19 4:54 3:15 3:17 3:10

I wanted to quit after the first rep. For some reason, those first three felt like I was running 3:05's. I don't know if my body was tired (fourth day of running in a row) or it was the concrete. Oh well. I finished!!

Monday, I tempoed. I always tempo on Monday, but this Monday was different. I'm not training specific to half marathons which means that my tempos are like 45 seconds faster! That's tough! I was supposed to run 1 easy, 4 at 7:10, 1 easy. I ran: 8:40, 7:14, 6:59, 8:42, 8:30 I figured that 2 tempo miles at half marathon pace was better than 4 miles at marathon pace.