Monday, January 31, 2011

Mountains - Okay, maybe just Hills!

I didn't run my long run this weekend. I was on a semi vacation and decided to just run hard for an hour instead. It felt good! An hour of fast running is probably just as good for me as 10-13 miles of easy running, right? It was a beautiful day - 45 degrees and sunny! Perfect running weather.

I was in southern Indiana and it wasn't quite the sea level flat running that I'm used to. I was surprised that I didn't climb more than it says ... oh well, the numbers don't lie.

1) 8:18
2) 8:24
3) 8:00
4) 7:45
5) 7:40
6) 7:49
7) 7:31
8) 4:31 (7:41 pace) for .59 miles

7.59 miles in 1:00:00

Total Elevation Gain was 255 feet (Total loss was 255 feet, too). I guess that is what happens when you start and end at the same place! Ha!

This was a great run though. It started off being an easy 4 miler that turned into a 5 miler and then into a 6 miler and then into a 7 miler ... finally finishing at a "I think I'll just run for an hour." Ha!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Post Half Marathon Track

Gotta make this quick ...

Track workout yesterday:

800 1600 1600 800

I hate when we have 1600's in the workout. I don't know why! I'm getting better about mentally preparing for them, but I just don't like them.

Goal times: 3:18 and 6:44

We rested 1:30 after the 800 and 3 minutes after the mile.

My times: 3:09, 6:34, 6:30, 3:12

I actually felt pretty good!! My legs are a little tight from Sunday - but, why wouldn't they be? Those were killer HILLS!!!

Work is crazy and super busy!! Wedding planning is finally in FULL force! I'm starting to narrow down some things, so that's good! We're even getting pretty close to nailing down a date - at least we've got it down to a two week span in June! :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Clearwater Half Marathon: RR

It's been a busy week. I've not been a great blogger at all. Not only have I not written regularly, but I've raced twice (10K last weekend and half today) and didn't take my camera with me to either race. I did; however, go out with Penny one night and happen to take pictures then. I even bought my wedding dress and had a camera then ... just not at the races :/

The 10K website will not let me save the pictures from online (even with the copyright sign across them), so if you'd like to check them out, you can go here. While warming up, Jackie, Luis and I ran on the 5K course and so the photographer took our pictures then, too! Ha! :)

Before I get to today's race, here are some other pictures from this week. I never post pictures and I feel like I owe you guys more than a lot!

Dinner and Wine at Penny's!

Sadly, I think we finally got this picture right on take 100!

Posed, but cute, right?!

We thought we should go "out" even after all of that wine! :)

Okay, so onto the race!!

After the Holiday Half, I vowed to taper before my next! I stuck to my normal schedule through Wednesday track and then took Thursday and Friday completely OFF! I ran two miles yesterday to loosen my legs. One easy, one at "goal pace." 8:24, 7:19 Perfect! :)

This morning came early. The alarm went off at 4:45AM. I immediately checked the weather on my phone and it was 44 degrees. It wasn't supposed to warm up! I didn't really know what to wear. It was freezing, but I wasn't sure how much my body would warm up. 44 degrees and windy!! I was nervous.

I got to the race almost an hour early and was able to park about 200 feet away from the Start/Finish line. It's the small things that make me happy! :) Sadly though, I was freezing and sat in my car until about fifteen minutes before the race started. I just didn't want to be cold. I warmed for about five minutes and then made my way to the start line.

My only race strategy was to feel good the entire time. I had an amazing half on Nov. 21st (1:37:35) running and feeling better than I've ever before! Three weeks later, I ran another half in 1:41:54 and was miserable from mile 5 on. This week I analyzed the splits to both races. By mile 4 of the miserable race I was over a minute faster than I was on my PR race. I started TOO fast and it caused me not only misery, but 4+ minutes later in the race. I've never crashed and burned so badly in a race before and was determined to not let that happen!

So, race plan! The first five miles cannot be faster than 7:30. Then, if I feel good, I can pick it up! I kept it that simple.

The problem ... it was windy and the course was HILLY!! My coach had already written on my schedule that this wouldn't be a PR course. By the way, when someone from FL says "hilly" it means that we're running bridges. It's usually .25-.35 miles worth of climbing 75-100 feet followed by an equally steep downhill.

I can honestly say that I felt very good the entire time!! .25 miles into the race and I was running at an 8:07 pace. I didn't start too fast!!! I started about 14 seconds back which worked!! This course was absolutely beautiful and I would definitely recommend this race!

7:39 - first HILL
7:22 - first downhill
7:35 - second HILL
7:19 - second downhill
7:32 (horrible wind)
7:31 (horrible wind)
7:40 - third and hardest HILL
7:24 - third down hill
6:58 - fourth HILL + fourth downhill
6:10 pace

Total Time: 1:35:53

PR and good enough for automatic entry into the NYC marathon!! No more lottery for this girl! :)

12th overall female 12/261
57th overall place (men and women) 57/600 (exactly 600 finishers)
1st in age group 1/32 FINALLY!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

St. Pete Beach Classic 10K

I have officially raced and finished a 10K. It is one of the few distances (normal distances at least) that I have yet to race!

I don't know that I love the 10K distance. It's kind of weird and I wasn't quite sure what pace to run. My 5K PR pace is 6:36 and my 1/2 marathon PR pace is 7:25ish. So, I was secretly hoping to be around 7:00 flat, but also didn't want to crash and burn with 4 miles left ... so I decided to aim for 7:15 to "play it safe."

Well, let's just say that it was good to play it safe, because these little legs would have definitely crashed and burned. Playing it safe wasn't as easy as it sounded ...

I was determined to practice pacing and determined to run the first two miles no faster than 7:30! Then, the plan was to run 2 miles at 7:15 and aim for 7:00 for the last two.

So, the gun goes off and I begin. The first mile feels like cake and I keep slowing myself down. Don't you just love that feeling. I came across mile one in 7:18 and I was happy with it.

I continued the pace for the next mile. By 1.5 it didn't feel "easy" anymore, but it certainly didn't feel horrible! Mile two: 7:17 I was happy to be consistent!

Around mile 3, I decided that pace was good for the rest of the race. Another girl that I run with throughout the week kept passing me. We literally passed each other maybe 10 times throughout the race. Everytime she would pass me, I would tell myself to keep up! Then, I would end up passing her. I would keep checking my watch though and I was pretty consistent .... Hhhhhmmmm Mile three: 7:19 I hit the 5K mat in 22:45. Only 15 seconds slower than I hoped.

The back and forth non sense continued. Mile four was the slowest, but it had several curves. The rest of the race was on a complete, flat straightaway. Mile four: 7:22

At this point, despite the back and forth running, I knew I could push for two miles. I kept telling myself that I always end strong and that on Monday the last two miles of my tempo were 7:14 and 7:06 so there was no reason I shouldn't be sub 7 in a race.

But, I couldn't run any faster. I just felt weird. I literally never zoned out and remember every single second of the race! Bizarre!

Mile 5: 7:20

I tried to pick it up during the last mile. I knew it would be over soon - but, soon wasn't coming fast enough. With half a mile left, I picked it up but with .2 left, I had zero kick. I just couldn't run ANY faster. Mile 6: 7:14

I usually have a great kick at the end, but sadly I ran the last .24 (according to my Garmin) at a 6:46 pace. At least I picked it up a little. The girl from my group beat me by three seconds .... UGH! I'm happy for her, but I was mentally defeated and tired of playing chase (YES, I realize that this was a race). Next time ....

I crossed the finish line in 45:24 (7:17 average pace). I was relieved it was finished. It was funny because a minute later I'm 100% fine and thinking isn't it crazy how we push so hard and can't wait for it to be finished. Then, not even a minute after we finish all of the pain is gone!!

That's going to be my new mantra on these short races .... the pain seriously is temporary!! I am stronger than I think!

I'm not disappointed in myself. Sometimes we have great runs, other times not. Sure, I wanted a sub 45, but this was my first go at this distance. I'll get it. I'm faster! For having a blah day, I'd say I did okay!

5th place age group/38
16th overall female/280
63rd overall/584

Hopefully I'll have some pictures up soon!

**My younger sister, Amber, has decided to create a blog. She is trying to change her lifestyle and needs some encouragement!!** I plan on devoting an entire post to her later this week, when I can take some time to write it and post pictures! I can't access my pics from work. Anyway, head over her way and say hi!! Thanks!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Easy 8 + Eating Solo

I had the most amazing 8 miler yesterday. Because it was 36 degrees yesterday morning and I opted to sleep and run later, I had to run after work. I've gotten so used to running before work and relaxing after work that I have a lot of trouble on these days. By the time 5PM rolls around all I want to do is get home! Luckily, I found out another running friend had made the same AM decision as me, so we met at 5PM to run. I had 5 easy on my schedule and he had 8 easy. I opted for the 8.

It was still pretty chilly out as I had to wear my tights and a long sleeve shirt. The coolest part about my new shirt, though is that it has thumb holes. Nike is creative, I'll give them that - not to mention that is the best invention, ever! So my garmin was mostly invisible (under my shirt) the entire run. We just ran "easy." When we finished and I looked at my watch:

8 miles: 1:05:21 (8:10 pace)


Had I seen some of those times while running, the run probably would have felt harder, or I would have slowed down. It's amazing what kind of mental games the garmin will play! Oh well, still love my Garmin!! But, it was a pleasant surprise since I felt like we were running seriously easy!

My boy is out of town for 4 nights and last night was night 2. I'm so used to cooking for two (and since we eat a lot, I usually make recipes for 4) that it completely throws me off when I just cook for me. It's a good thing I have him in my life because I actually cook full meals every night. I'm so less nutritionous when it's just me. I mean, I didn't want to cook meat, rice and veggies for one and then have to clean all of that up!

Do you ever run without looking at your Garmin?

What do you make when you only have to cook for one?

** Check out my cousin, Amanda's, website. Our great aunt turned 110 yesterday! No joke! Check it out. **

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tempo = Success Track = FAIL

It's been cold here in Tampa all week. I've been lacking motivation to wake up early and have been having to run after work some due to my laziness. I've just been kind of blah about my running - but, no worries, I've still been getting my runs in!!

Monday, I had a crazy tempo on schedule. I didn't even want to attempt it because I thought it was impossible. It read, 2 miles easy, 7:10, 7:05, 7:00, 1 mile easy. Now, I know that I can run a 5K at faster prescribed paces, but the thought of running those paces in the middle of a run just kind of freaked me out.

So, I almost just ran easy for the day.

But, I didn't. I gave myself a 10 second window and made myself just do it. As soon as my watch beeped that my two seconds were up, I went for it. 7:20, 7:14, 7:06 I did it! I successfully cut down the 5 seconds each mile. YAY!

Wednesday morning was freeeezing! Our usual track is getting redone and we had to practice on a middle school concrete track! UGH! The workout was 7 x 800. I would put money down that I'm at least 5-10 seconds slower per 800 on that track. I don't know if it's the concrete or the fact that I don't wear my racers on that track, but oh ... it's horrible!

Goal Time 3:18 (Rest in between = 1:45)

(Side Note - completely attainable time for me, I usually run them a good 5-15 seconds faster).

3:24 - after this one, I decided to move back a group. I was the only one in my group.

Something just wasn't clicking with my running yesterday! Yes, it was windy and dark and freezing ... but that shouldn't matter! Oh well! We can't win them all!

I have a 10K on Saturday ... wish me luck!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mile Repeats

*Check out some of most recent posts if you haven't!

Getting Engaged in Key West
Also, I've recently updated my "about me" page!

Mile repeats are probably my least favorite track workout. I feel as though I should do more than three of them, but then I remember that I'm basically sprinting them (just slightly slower than 5K pace), so three is enough! If they were at 10K or 1/2 marathon pace maybe I could do more!

Wednesdays track workout: 3x1600 w/3 min. rest Goal pace: 6:48

This is the third time that I've run this workout with the track team. I cannot for the life of me find in my running log one of them, but the other I did.

6/16/10 - 6:59, 6:53, 6:57

1/5/10 - 6:41, 6:37, 6:41

I actually felt pretty good for the first two. The last two laps of #3 were pretty tough! It was a quick workout and over fast! Warmed up w/a mile and a half and cooled down with half a mile to make it an even 5 for the day!

The rest of the week:
Monday - 6.1 miles total w/2 tempo miles in 7:21 and 7:01
Tuesday - Easy 7 in 59:23
Wednesday - Track
Thursday - slept in b/c of thunderstorm
Friday - Easy 6 in 51:57
Saturday - 1.5 w/dog and upper body and abs at gym

Tomorrow is my long run ... easy 15 miler!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

Friday, January 7, 2011


A Few of my Goals - Running and Non Running!

  • To be more thoughtful! I feel as though I'm pretty thoughtful anyway, but how fun is it to receive unexpected cards or small gifts or words of kindness. I want to send birthday cards and good luck cards and random "great job" or "I'm thinking about you" cards ALL year long!
  • To be less selfish/more selfless! Again, always a work in progress. I want to celebrate more in others successes and give more of myself to others. Maybe, I'll even volunteer more and find organizations to help out!
  • To not procrastinate as much! Even with the small things, it's better to get them done in the present. First step, going ahead to develop the Key West pictures and making a scrapbook!
  • To run a 5K PR - I want to break 20:00 --> Actually, I want to be closer to 19:30.
  • To run a 10K - I've never raced a 10K before, so the first step is to run one! Goal time: Sub 43:00
  • To run a 15K PR - Sub 1:10
  • To run a 1/2 marathon PR - Sub 1:35
  • To only run a marathon if I will fully commit and am healthy! Not half way doing this!! So, at earliest, a fall marathon and if I do it ... I'm running it in 3:20! There you go, I said it!! But, at the same point, if I focus this year on the half and my speed ... I am a-okay with it! But, you better believe that I announce I'm running a full ... well, I'm giving it my all!
  • To have fun with my running!! Race more, smile more, run even more with friends!
  • To not get injured!
  • To take care of my body more! Hello massage, ice bathing, eating well and stretching.
  • To balance my life better!! I'm cranky in marathon training - especially towards the end! I need to remind myself that I'm not an elite and that I do this for fun and that it is OKAY to spend time with friends, stay up late and enjoy some wine!!
  • To post more pictures ... so sorry all of my posts are so boring! :(
  • To save more $$$
  • To get married! :) <3

2010 was AMAZING! Cheers to 2011 being even better!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


2010 was a crazy year - but in a good way! Last December, I set the following PR running goals:
  • 5K - 21:30
  • 10K - 45:00
  • 10 miler - 1:15
  • 13.1 - 1:39:59
  • 26.2 - 3:29:59
I ran two 5K's sub 21:30. I ran a 20:30 in Nov. and a 20:54 in Dec.

I didn't race a 10K or a 10 miler. However, during my half marathon in Nov., my 10 miler split was 1:14:07.

The best running day of the year fell on Nov. 21st! I ran a 1:37:35 and blew myself away! I had the best time ever and crushed my half marathon goal!

Marathons didn't quite go my way this year ... I ran a 3:51:52 on my birthday and then attempted again on Oct. 23rd but stopped mid way through!

Let's recap some of my favorite moments of each month, shall we?

January - 55 miles total! The worse month by far. I moved to Tampa, FL on January 1st. I was super excited about living the FL life and getting down here! I joined the Progressive track team (I found them online) the second week of January! I've met a TON of great friends through here and am so grateful that I found them so quickly!

February - My coach put me on a workout schedule so that I could begin my San Diego Marathon training! On the last day of the month, I ran my first 15K in 1:13:55. It was tough race ... I finished the month with 107 miles.

March - No races. But, this began the six week span of visitors. Who would have thought that everyone's Spring Break's would have fallen on different weeks?! It worked out though and I loved every minute of it! I also met Penny at the end of March! Funny enough, I met her online via Runner's World. Who would have known that she would quickly become one of my best friends - even outside of running. 155 miles for March.

April - Another 15K on a long course and with hills. 1:15:55 Still heavy in marathon training. Went to the beach almost every weekend! 165 miles for April.

May - On the first day of May, I put my weekly track workouts to test with a 5K. I ran it in 22:35. It felt soooo hard! I promised myself I would never run a 5K again and proclaimed to the world that I'd run a marathon any day over a 5K. Ha 167 miles for May.

June - David and I went to San Diego for my birthday!! Even though I didn't quite have the race I had hoped, I had an amazing weekend with my family! I even got to meet Kara Goucher. With the reverse taper, I finished with 105 miles for June.

July - I jumped straight into marathon training for Apalachicola. I was seeking redemption. I learned how to run in 90+ degree weather with 95% humidity. I quickly learned that this was only possible with 3:00AM wake up calls and 4:00AM running starts. UGH! Don't miss that. Total mileage - 155 miles

August - Heavy into marathon training and I was getting a lot faster. My long runs were averaging about 30-40 seconds faster per mile than San Diego. Total Mileage - 163

September - Still in marathon training .... still running ... 167 miles

October - Marathon month! I had the most amazing weekend ever with Penny and Stephanie!! I wouldn't change anything about that weekend! :) Not only did it set me up for an amazing finish to 2010 but I had the honor to watch Penny finish her debut marathon in 3:20:14! Total mileage - 107

November - I didn't have to taper after Apalachicola so I just kept running. I had my sights set on a 5K at the beginning of the month. I was hoping for anything in the 21 minute range and ended up running a 20:30 ... I was on cloud nine the rest of the month! This lead right into my half marathon! I was so excited about the half distance (this being my first half marathon) and ended up being right! Everything fell into place and I ran a 1:37:35! Not in my wildest dreams would I have run that time ... and it was 13.23 miles. Total mileage - 153 miles.

December - I ran a 5K at the beginning of the month for complete fun! I ran it in 20:54 and was ecstatic that came on a "fun" day! I even won third in my age group! On Dec. 12th, I ran another half marathon. I ran a 1:41:56 and was dying from mile 6 on. In the end I was happy with my effort on tired legs and vowed to treat the half marathon as a respectable race here on out and not as "only a half!" Two days later, I went to Louisville for a week and then straight to Key West for a week! I took some time off (ran twice a week both weeks - basically speed only and 12ish miles each week). It was a nice way to give my body a break and enjoy the vacations!! AND ... if you don't know what happened in Key West, check out my last post!! Quite the way to end the year!!

Total mileage of 2010 - 1573.1

I'll post about what I want to accomplish in 2011 next ... this is already way toooo long!