Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The verdict is in...


I love 'em! Screw shoes=best idea ever. Fast, cheap, and solid traction, it's a winning combination. I was really hesitant at first, taking little baby strides on the icy patches, but when I realized they worked like champs, it was back to the usual. I actually wanted to run on the icier patches instead of the deeper snow, it was easier on the ice. I loved that they are a part of the shoe, and I felt all B.A. putting the screws in with the power drill today. Yes, I am indeed cheesy like that. I did my 3 miles for the day it took a little less than 37 minutes, not my fastest, but considering I was dealing with snow and hills, I'm happy with it. :) It's about the miles anyhow, and just getting this done, not the time. This time anyway...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Do you like to do it yourself?


Quick, name that movie! 40 Year Old Virgin of course. :) So, upon further research, joining a health club for their indoor running facilities is now out of the question. I learned through more research that you have to join for a whole year, and generally can't just join for, oh 3 months or so. Boo to that! And silly me for waiting until the last minute to discover it. Given this unfortunate news, coupled with the fact that tomorrow, I have to run 3 miles, outdoors, through our neighborhood of un-shoveled sidewalks, I frantically started researching on the internet for "strap on" stabilizers and such so that I wouldn't die on my hilly running route tomorrow. The reviews were mixed, the products were many. And honestly the ones I was more interested in, it looked like I was going to have to order online. I don't have time to wait for them to get here, and then, sweet salvation. A "do it yourself" option, wait for it.... Screw shoes!

Sheet metal screws are cheap, we already have a power drill, and I do have a pair of older running shoes to experiment with. Tomorrow after a quick jaunt to the ol' hardware store, it's on. I'll post some pics with my results. I'm a little nervous to be drilling into my shoes, but since it's my old pair I feel a little bit of comfort.

And check that out, a never seen before, two posts in one day phenomenon! Woot!

And so it begins...


Today marks my "official" start of training for the half, though I've been working out off and on and heading out on the pavement when I can, from here on out the schedule starts. This morning was pretty easy, it was a nice strength and stretch day, so it honestly felt a little like I was cheating...ah well. I'm sure as the weeks go on, I'll LOVE Mondays and the bit of a "break" the give me.

If anyone is wondering what training plan I'm following, I'm actually doing a mixture of a couple I found. I was going to follow Hal Higdon's plan to the tee, but I really wanted to do a long run of at least 12 miles, so I've played around with the Sunday mileages and think I'm happy with it. The most miles I have myself adding a week are 2, and most weeks it's only a mile. I dropped the 5K and 10K race, if I can find one that fits in with my training schedule, I'll go for it, but if not, no biggie. :)

If any readers have advice for me, I'd love to hear it. I'm fairly new to this whole thing and one can never have enough knowledge.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dashing through the snow...


So...running in the winter...with hills. Pretty exciting stuff. Okay so not really, I've made it out a couple of times. Haven't fallen...yet, and I've really enjoyed it. The times I went out though, sidewalks were clear and there wasn't much ice. But since I'm sure the "best" of winter is yet to come, the executive decision came down...I'm joining the Y. If I'm going to give this half my best shot, I want to go in fully prepared. I want to hit each training run, and not pass it up due to icy, snowy conditions. I feel a big sigh of relief at making this decision, it's been adding to my stress levels lately, the worry of not being able to get each run in and for now, I think it's the thing that makes the most sense. Sure running laps around an indoor track won't be the most exciting thing ever, but I will be running. :) If outdoor conditions are favorable, I'll go outside, but having the flexibility makes me feel more in control which is a nice feeling. So one week from today, Monday the 21st officially kicks off "training." Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turkeyman Turkey Trot


What better way to spend a bright and early Thanksgiving Day morning than outside, in 40-degree temperatures running with a thousand other crazies? On Thursday, I ran my second “race,” and it was great. I love the feeling after finishing, even though it’s only 3.1 miles; it just feels like such an accomplishment. The course went through downtown Lansing streets, past the capitol Christmas tree, the rain held off and it was awesome. I ran with a friend and her husband and it was nice to have someone to chat with through the course. Rex was the gracious “stuff” holder and honorary picture taker; he’s such an awesome guy. I’m so lucky and thankful to have him. Who else would get up at 7:30, drive me in, stand in the freezing cold and cheer me on? Well, besides my parents that is. ☺ They came out to cheer us on too, all in all a fun little race, I’m already looking forward to next year…

Time: 33 minutes, 14 seconds

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Run-day


On Sundays it's my one outdoor run of the week, well for now. I know I have to kick it into gear and start adding another one or two in soon, but for now, Sunday it is. Lucky for me, I can con Rex into going with me. We've been gradually adding on 5 minutes to our time each week, but we're getting to the point where I can't con him into going with me anymore if I keep adding time. Last week we did 35 minutes, our usual game plan is run 2 minutes, walk a minute, repeat 'til the time is up. Since he was not having any of my "let's go for 40 minutes" rah rah..I decided it was time for me to suck it up and ease into non-stop running, with loops and retracing of my steps to keep time with him.

So on this brisk fall morning we went for 30 minutes, he kept the 2 minute/1 minute pace, I did 30 minutes non-stop. My legs are sore, already. They usually are okay until the following day...I'm worried for tomorrow. I think the kicker was trying to keep pace with him on the 2 minutes he was running, his fresh legs made me kick up my pace to match his. Which is good. :)

Overall running stats from the Nike+
Run time: 30:39
Distance: 3.56 miles
Average Pace: 8:34

(I haven't calibrated my new sensor yet, and last time I did, it was showing .1 of a mile more, so I subtract .1 for each mile I go, making it more like 3.2 miles, and I dunno what that would put the pace at, definitely no where close to an eight and a half minute mile is all I know!)

And just for fun data facts...here are the last couple of Sunday stats, I recalculated the distances to account for the non-calibrated sensor, and left pace alone.

Nov. 8th
Run/Walk Time: 35:04
Distance: 3.1 miles
Average Pace: 10:14

Run/Walk Time:30:03
Distance:2.7 miles
Average Pace: 9:56

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dallas Rock n' Roll Half Marathon...


I took the plunge and signed up, now I've got to figure out a plan of attack...anyone want to be my running buddy? More details to follow after I wrap my mind around running 13.1 miles straight...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Getting back to it...


Well, it won't be a new state, but it's definitely going to be a new challenge. A friend conned me into signing up to run the Turkey Trot which takes place Thanksgiving morning. To be honest it didn't take too much to convince me. We spent the day Sunday watching and cheering my brother on in his first marathon, and it was AMAZING. A bit of big sister bragging on him...he completed it in 4 hours and 1 minute! That's pretty sweet stuff. The energy that morning, the pure determination, it made me really miss running. So I really didn't hesitate to sign up for the run, the big challenge will be the weather. It's going to be pretty chilly come the end of November here in Michigan, so that should definitely add an interesting twist. I started working on my training plan this morning, since I only have 5 short weeks I've really go to get moving on it. This means re-buying my lost sensor for the Nike+ instead of waiting 'til Christmas and hoping for it then. Maybe this will actually force me to write a few more blog posts, eh?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So I finally went for a run...


Over Labor Day, I headed out one fine morning at the cabin. It seemed like the time and the perfect place to go. I had my hip little running skirt on and a fun green top, my nike+, my iPod, and was ready to rock and roll. One problem...that long looped shoe lace when it connected with the stick, which connected with my foot, which took me out. In my mind it looked like a scene from a movie, slow motion style. Witness the magnificent beast yelling "NOoOoOoOOOo" and knees hitting, followed by elbows and a short skid. I should mention this happened not even 50 yards into my run. Luckily, no one witnessed it.

I stood back up, and started the damage check. Obviously no broken bones. (Good) Knees only slightly scraped. (Even better) Clothes easily brushed off, no clingy dirt. (Nice) Left elbow, a few minor abrasions and bleeding. (Not bad) In my head I started the debate, was nature trying to tell me something? Aka, go back to the cabin, eat a cookie, put on your suit and go be lazy by the lake? Or should I suck it up and move on? I decided that since I was only bleeding from one location, it obviously meant I should continue on my way. I carefully tucked the offending shoe laces into my shoes and headed off.

It was a nice cool morning for a run, light traffic, and things were going swell. I asked myself multiple times as I headed to the turn around point, "See, aren't you glad you stuck it out and went for it?" I started back toward the cabin when I heard the ominous words broadcast through my ear buds..."Sensor signal has been lost." Sure enough it had. No more sensor tucked in my sock. I looked around, no sensor in sight. I turned and re-walked my route for a good 50 yards, nothing. I walked back forward, nothing. Back and forth, and back and forth. I'm sure the cars thought I was a crazy; let's take stock-girl with a bleeding elbow, dirt stuck on her knees, huffing and puffing, bright red and sweating pacing the same stretch of road. Back and forth, back and forth. Sounds crazy to me.

Alas, I didn't find the sensor. Tucking it in my sock has never been a problem before, but that day was the day. Luckily it's not too expensive to replace. Sighing, I cranked up the tunes and headed the rest of the way back. Stretched, then headed down to the lake to take off my shoes and dangle my feet in. It was heaven. Not a ripple on the surface, no boats. Absolutely beautiful, and I realized, that klutz prone run, had been TOTALLY worth it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Soooo about this running thing...


Who's been a slacker in the posting department? That'd be me. I have continued with my running, although I've found myself REALLY missing my running group. I guess it's the whole social aspect of it all. It was a really great group of people to get to run with on a weekly basis. Such is life though, and I've kept on going. With the crazy hot temps last week, I decided a run in the 90 degree weather wasn't going to happen. So I did my running indoors on our elliptical, and focused on intervals. Lower ramp and resistance for 30 seconds, then a higher incline and higher resistance for 2 minutes and did this for 50 minutes. I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and more accustomed to it. I'll drag Rex out for interval running Thursday night, and then Saturday I'm hoping to get a long run in outside up at the cabin. :)

Today, I had my weekly workout with Erin, and we started with our outdoor "warm up" as usual. It felt like we were definitely going a bit faster than usual, and at the end of it we'd gone 2.25 miles and the best part...at a 9:30 pace!!! I am geeked and just had to share. I'm not sure if I could keep that up for a whole 5K, but hope to be able to at some point in the near future. On other running news, I haven't signed up to run my next 5K yet, but have been looking at a few different ones. Not sure which state to tackle next, probably Illinois or Indiana...something close by and drivable? We'll have to wait and see. Other fun things...I bought an arm strap for my iPod on Amazon last night, and am going to pick up the Nike+ today! It will be nice to have something give me actual data on how far I've gone and what my pace is, I can't wait! Off to do some shopping, happy running everyone! :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

First 5K and first state done!


So after tossing and turning all night from nerves and anticipation, my first alarm finally went off. By this point I wasn't really sleeping, more like waiting in bed biding my time to get up and going. Before I knew it, it was 8:05 and we needed to head out. We cruised to Cutlerville, tracked down the group and Erin showed up with our race bags containing our tee shirts, timing chips, bibs, and surprise tees that she had made for us. Of course we booked it to go change and put her tees on for the race asap. My parents even showed up to surprise me(thanks guys!), and the rain even held off for most of the run. I'll admit it, I was SO nervous lining up and even after the start. It honestly took me a good couple of minutes to hit a steady pace and settle into the run. The first mile dragged on the longest for me, it was a pretty flat straight-away and just followed city blocks. When I hit the first clock at that first mile and it was something around 10:13, I told myself to kick it in gear. Mile two went faster, cutting through blocks, and zigzagging through the slower runners. I felt like mile three went the fastest, mainly because it was the last mile. Although I misjudged how much was left of the run and picked up the pace again a little too soon. I was really pushing it at the end, but then I saw Geoff, Erin's husband, cheering me on. And then a bit closer to the finish line, Erin was there cheering and it gave me that last little boost I needed to finish strong. I checked my watched as I crossed the line and saw 30 minutes and 23 seconds, which, bummed me out a bit. Last week I'd done it in 30:15, then I thought about it some more and realized it was still a huge accomplishment. I did it on my own pacing this time, and finished feeling pretty decent body and breathing wise. So I crossed the line and immediately grabbed a water, totally missing Brian Diemer giving high fives to the finishers. I didn't realize this until Rex pointed it out to me at lunch after the race. I also got a nice surprise when I checked my actual chip race time, 30 minutes and 18 seconds! Not under 30 minutes, but a bit closer to what I ran before, which made my day! Overall it was just an amazing experience. One I'll definitely be doing again.

Race Stats: Brian Diemer 5K Run
Bib #648
Actual chip finish time: 30 minutes, 18 seconds!!!
Place among my age group 25-29 year olds: 69th out of 118
Overall female place: 396th
Overall place: 1096th
Total runners: 1,437
Total female runners: 702

Biggest lessons learned today:
1)Don't pick up the end of the race pace too soon
2)Grab water at the 2 mile marker

And, because I LOVE pictures...here are some from the day, enjoy!!

First Race

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Racing vs. Running


As my first 5K draws nearer I keep getting the question, "Are you excited for your first race?" I am, but I guess in my mind, I haven't really been thinking of it as a race, I keep thinking of it as a 3 mile run that I'm going for on Saturday morning. Maybe as I continue to improve my speed and such, I'll get into more of a race mentality, or maybe it'll even happen when I get there and the spirit of the morning catches me? I'll just have to wait and see, but until then I'm content thinking about it as a nice way to get my Saturday started. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

A trial run


Last night I arrived at my trainer's house ready for our usual "pre-workout" jog/walk. We set out at a nice pace, chatting about what's been happening in our lives lately. We hit the point where we usually make a turn right to round out the mile loop back to her house, and she says, "We're headed left tonight." Something was amiss. About 30 seconds later she told me we were going to run a nice little 5K before training. Oh Wow. Surprisingly it flew by pretty quickly, I was able to keep chatting for the early part of it, and could give one sentence responses and ask questions until closer to the end. That last little bit though, I started to get pretty tired but it was SO worth it. My time, 30 minutes and 15 seconds. It's amazing what the body can accomplish considering I've only been really running outdoors for 7 weeks now. I'm hoping to come in at 30 minutes or below next Saturday and will be excited to have my first official 5K in the books.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A goal


So with my first 5K coming up in a few short weeks, I was asked by my trainer the if I'd given any thought to running more races after that one. I said I thought I would probably like to and it got me thinking about my future in running. I've come to really enjoy getting out, lacing up my shoes, and working up a good sweat. Fast forward to today when I saw an ad for the Philadelphia Marathon in one of my magazines, but there wasn't just the marathon, there was the half marathon and an 8K. How cool would it be to go run something like that? It got me thinking and an idea was hatched, a goal to do 5K's in each of the 50 United States. Maybe over time it won't always be a 5K, and I'm hoping to gradually increase the length of my races. But the goals as it stands is to do at least one 5K in each state. I'm looking forward to getting started, it should be a great adventure!