Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Far Reaching Implications of 13.1 Miles....

Today Erica and I ran together without Angie, who is our other c25k running partner.  Because Angie couldn't run, Erica and I didn't follow the program and just kinda ran how we felt.

It felt awesome!  Just to do whatever, whenever, not stick to a schedule, not push myself...just run and have a good time.  I haven't done that since this spring...just ran without thinking about a future race or time goal or some other less tangible goal.

The other thing I've noticed is that I'm not used to running for such a short amount of time.  I mean, 12 minutes into the run, and I'm halfway done!  That's where the title for this post comes in.  I'm so used to running for AT LEAST 45 minutes at a time that 25 minutes basically feels like a sprint.  It's refreshing and nice.

My dogs know what it means when I strap on my chest strap for my heart rate monitor now, and start dancing by the door.  Hilarious.  I only started running with them consistently really recently- I had taken them a few times here and there before this, but now I really enjoy running with them.  They pace pretty well, and keep up with me just fine for these shorter runs I've been doing lately.  In the past Teddy (the 16lb Pomeranian) had a problem doing over 4 miles at a time.  I don't know what Nipper's limit is since she is new to running (and to life...an 8 lb rat terrier who is 9 months old)...but I feel like she can run forever!  After our 2-2.5 mile runs she still wants to play catch...

Posed after last weeks Agility class

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Recap of the Half Marathon, Part 4, the Finale

Chapter 4: Aftermath & How I Feel About It

The small view of the race course, courtesy of CardioTrainer

A larger view of the race course that I pasted together...
After stretching I went to go get my fleece that I had checked in before the race...and promptly got lost!  I don't know how I missed it- I was coming from the other direction, but somehow I kept entering Mission Point Resort in the wrong places.  Walking up and down the steps to get to the right entrance was tortuous. I had to stop halfway up one flight.  I saw other people going up on all fours.  Finally I found the right place and got my fleece, and went back to the lobby to pick up Nate, Gina, Tyler, and Nate's mom.  

We walked back to the port where the ferry would pick us up in about an hour and a half.  Gina and her mom went into the shops again while Nate, Tyler, and myself went to Starbucks to get some coffee and relax.  The line was out onto the sidewalk!!  We got our coffee and went to our ferry's inside waiting area and sat and relaxed and drank coffee.  It was fantastic to sit and relax- truly heavenly!

After about 40 minutes of waiting we got on the ferry and crossed back to the mainland.  By the time we got off the ferry it was raining!  Not hard, but hard enough to make it a quite cold walk back to the hotel- about three blocks away.  Nate was walking fast enough that I had to jog to keep up with him.  It was terrible to jog...but it felt worse to be in the cold wet rain for longer than I had to be, so I hoofed it as best as I could.  I was pretty proud that I could still jog at this point!

Took a shower and went to dinner.  I didn't wear my medal to dinner even though I wanted to...next race I will wear my medal all day.  I got all you can eat crab legs and shrimp for dinner, and the best/most alcoholic grasshopper drink for after dinner that I've ever had.  Simply awesome.  Went back to the hotel and pretty much immediately went to bed after some more stretching and massaging.

My medal- hanging in my office currently!

Up close

So overall, how did it fair up?  Well, I loved doing it, I’ll tell you that.  I’ve already signed up for my next, a half in Green Bay in May.  I know I’m going to do a full marathon, hopefully next fall.  But, as I said, I’m torn with this race.  I know I should just be happy that I finished, but I’m really disappointed with my time.  Not even that I guess- I would be fine with that time if that was truly my best effort, but it’s not.  I didn’t train for months.  I lost sight of this goal because of having so many other (admittedly more important) things going on in my life that the same time.  I know I can do better, so I’m not satisfied with this race at all.  It’s especially disinheartening to look at my race log and see that when I was training really consistently I ran a 5K with a 10:48 average mile split.  When you plug that into a race calculator, that means I should have been able to run a half marathon in 2:33:45.

I guess overall I’m still just really impressed that I did this.  I mean for god sakes, last year I was 25lbs heavier and couldn’t run for more than 60 seconds without wanting to die.  I’m also the only person I know besides Stacey and her mom who have done a half marathon.  People do them all the time, but not in my social or family circle, so I’m pretty proud that I get to be the exception to that.

I also feel proud that I could take 2 months (essentially) off of running and still finish 13.1 miles.  Plus Gina and I walked for 2-3 miles that morning looking at stuff on the island.  That alone would make an unfit person sore.

I can’t wait for my next race!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recap of the Half Marathon, Part 3

Chapter 3: 13.1 Miles Between Me and My First Medal

Gina and I right before the race
The course was a lollipop type, so that you ran 2.5 miles out on the road that circles the island along the lake, then turn left and run through the inner trails and roads, then come back out onto the road for the last 2.5 miles.  The 5.7 mile run wound through the inner trails for 3.2 miles and then finished on that same 2.5 miles of road.  This was a really neat feature because at the 24 minute mark (about 2 miles into the race for me) I got to see the first finishers of the other race go running by.  They were FLYING!  It was really neat to see, and we were all cheering for each other and smiling and having a great time watching the people in the other races.  I even got to see Gina go by after I made my turn up into the trail section!

At the three mile marker there was the first water station.  I didn’t need any water since I was using my Camelback fanny pack, but I took the opportunity to drop a cup on my head and take an energy gel since I was at about 35 minutes into the course at this point.  This was the first time I walked at all on the course that day, and really that was pretty good for not training well at all.  Oh I forgot to mention- luckily my Pandora app started working at about the 1.5 mile mark.  Whew.

The trail part lasted for about two miles I would say, then every once in a while we would be on a road.  We passed the airport around mile 5.5 and there was another water station- but no water!  Come on now I’m not that slow!!  What really happened is this- the volunteers at this station decided it would be easier to distribute the water in the full Dasani water bottles they had instead of pouring those into the little cups and handing them out like they were supposed to.  Luckily, my Camelback saved the day.  Took another energy gel here.  Also took a picture of the airport as I ran by!  I should also mention that mile 5-6 was my fastest split time of 12:39.  I passed Stacey’s mom around this time (I can’t remember exactly but I think it was shortly after the airport) and she told me Stacey was just up ahead.  Maybe I could catch her and we could finish the race together!

The course went through some more trails here, then came out on a road that wound through the inner island with some really nice houses on it!  I was amazed.  When Gina and I had been walking through town earlier, we saw a reality place that had houses advertised- from $400,000 to $650,000, and none of those were even as CLOSE to as nice as these were.  These were pretty much mansions.  At one of the houses the lady who lived there was standing out front her house with a hose offering the runners drinks.  I thought that was pretty neat.

Awesome House

The next part of the course took us behind the backside of the Fort, I got a picture of the fort itself and of me running by it.  I'm kind of a ham :)

Backside of Fort with Cannon

Me running by

Between miles 7-8 I came up over a hill and saw the prettiest view of the harbor and lake ever!  It was inspiring, and actually made me stop in my tracks.  I took a few pictures, and then some people that were also in the race and taking pictures offered to take a picture of me with that background!

Although this is pretty...it was prettier in person :)
Hamming it up again

This is also the point in the race that I got a little sad that this was only a half marathon and not a full one.  I wished it could go on forever and that the pretty views would never end.  I was on top of the world!

Then mile 9 came.  Oh dear god, mile 9.  There was nothing particular about this mile that made it tough- no terrible hills, (no worse than the rest of the course so far) no bad winds, nothing.  We were back in the trail system now, and I don’t know if not having much to look at was psyching me out or what, but this mile was terrible.  I walked a ton of it.  I came in at 15:00 even for a split time even though the mile before that I did 15:11 after stopping for about two minutes to take pictures.  

Mile 10- So happy to be in the double digits finally! There were a lot of downhill portions to this part of the race so I was really happy to be able to let my body coast a little.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention to my form on the downhills anymore, so I was pounding down them too hard, and I ended up stressing my left knee and left foot arch.  These wouldn’t bother me during the race, but afterward they were quite painful.  I had to go upstairs “on all fours” for a while to not put as much weight on my knee.  In fact, the knee and foot arch both still twinge a little, two weeks after the race.  Oh I should mention that coming into this mile was my worst split of the race- 15:21.  I came through at roughly 2:20:00.  However, I realized that I only had 3.1 miles to go, and if I could run them decently, I may still be able to finish in less than 3 hours, which was my goal at the start of the race.  Of course I wasn’t really planning to take so many pictures, but hey.

I made it to mile 11 in 13:46, which was a significant improvement over mile 10’s split.  I thought it may still be possible to finish under 3 hours at this time…but I couldn’t keep it up.  I just hadn’t trained enough, and I came through mile 12 in 14:36.  I did get a really good picture of Arch rock on the way back since by that point I knew I wasn’t coming through in under 3 hours anymore.

Arch Rock

Arch Rock a Little Closer
At 12.9 miles, my phone died.  It had told me it had a low battery around mile 8, so I got a good run out of it.  Running a GPS for CardioTrainer and running Pandora is pretty taxing on a battery.  So, all I had to listen to for my last 0.2 miles was myself.  It actually worked out well because there were still spectators out (and other runners cooling down by running back out on the course), so I got to hear them cheering.  It made me happy to hear them, but at the same time, I felt a little like …well, not like I didn’t deserve it, because for God’s sakes I just ran 13 miles…but maybe like…it was a mercy congrats?  Kind of like when you tell the slow kid in class his drawing of a donkey is really good but in reality it looks like a cloud?  It’s hard to explain.  I was still appreciative of the support and felt like I deserved it...idk.

At 0.1 left, I saw the finish line and audibly said “Oh thank fucking Jesus.” Some people heard me and laughed.

So, I never caught up with Stacey, but I did see her at the finish line waiting for me!  She was cheering my name and I tried to “sprint” though the finish line like I do at shorter races, but I’m sure I looked like I was waddling more than sprinting.  Nate got a picture of me coming through the finish line and I look like I’m going to puke-

Yay I'm finished!

I got my medal, and my banana, and some water…and walked for another few steps before taking the time to stretch out while scarfing down said banana.  There was goose poop everywhere- something that earlier in the day when Gina and I were stretching before the race I took the time to avoid- but at this point I just said “Fuck it, it will wash off” and stretched.  I had bought Stacey and I matching necklaces that were a circle with 13.1 around the edges and a runner girl in the center, and I gave her hers and put on my own.  Then we posed for a pic together with our medals on.

I found her!
I should mention that I’ve already lost the runner girl in the center of my necklace.  Piss.  (A girl found it while sweeping at work!  Score!)

Final time: 3 hours, 7 minutes, 51 seconds (chip time).

Tune in tomorrow for the last part of my half marathon run down, the aftermath and how I feel about my experience!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recap of the Half Marathon, Part 2

First a quick update on today- I ran the second day of c25k with my friends tonight.  Tonight we went 2.1 miles in 25 minutes (last night it was 1.6, so we went even FASTER tonight!).  It feels really different to push myself to go the fastest I can- it's pretty neat!  Ok, on to part two of the half marathon recap...

Chapter Two: The Morning of the Race and the Moments Leading Up to It

Woke up the next morning without the assistance of an alarm clock (I was too excited!).  It was 5:45am when I woke up.  I hadn’t planned on showering before the run since I was going to get all gross anyway, but since I was up an hour before I needed to be I decided that I would just hop in there.  It felt good to get out of bed and be doing something instead of just sitting there and twiddling my thumbs.

On the way to breakfast I went to the Coke machine by my room to get my morning wake me up- a diet coke.  Well, they were out of diet cokes.  So I went to the next one.  Out.  Went to the next one.   Out.  Went to the next one- that one was a Pepsi machine!  Ahhh diet Pepsi is liquid ass.  So, I went back up a level and got a Coke Zero.  Sigh.  It would have to do.  Went  to breakfast and ate a waffle, some eggs, and some fruit.  Decided that an hour is far too long of time to eat by yourself.  I was done in 20 minutes and started to get bored fast.

Finally it was time to meet Gina and head down to the 8am ferry.   The race was to start at 11am, but I wanted to take the first ferry out there to get set.  I hate rushing at the last minute to do things.
The weather could NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER!  In the morning it was chilly- low 40’s- but by race time it would be in the low 50’s with a slight wind and really sunny.  That was crazy because in all of the rest of Michigan (I mean everything- upper and lower peninsula) it was rainy, windy, and cold.  The weather would hold out just long enough for us to finish the race and catch the ferry before it started raining- it was raining by the time we got to the mainland!  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sunrise on the Morning of the Half, Waiting for the Ferry
Another of the Sunrise
Ships Seen from the Ferry as we were leaving Port
The Bridge as seen from the Ferry!

The ferry ride over was very quick, and soon we were on the island!  We walked over to the Mission Point Resort where the race was to start later that day and picked up our bib and fleeces.  The bib had our timing chips in it, which is pretty neat, but also meant we couldn’t bend the bibs, so I carefully pinned mine to my shorts since I would be taking on and off my outer shirt all day.  The fleeces are really nice- they are this pumpkin color and have zippered pockets and everything.  I have worn mine almost everyday since I’ve had it- and it will be GREAT for winter running!

We had a lot of time after this to walk around and check out the island, so we walked back into town and checked out the shops and other sites around the area.  We walked over to the fort, but it was closed to tours by this point in the year.

Just past Misson Point Resort- This is what we would run by in our first steps of the race

A house across the street from the fort- it looks crazy!
The fort- I have another picture of the fort as I ran behind it!
The church that was used by the fort members in the 19th century

After this we started to make our way back because we didn’t know what else to do.  It was about 10am at this point.  On the way back we spotted a church that had a museum in it’s basement so we checked it out.

Map from the 1800's
Pretty Loopy Writing
Bell from the Original church- 1600's I think
Something they Store Holy Water In
Something Pretty- I don't know what it is though...

Then we went upstairs and took some pictures of the church itself.

Windows on the right side of the church

The door into the Church
The Steeple
Sunlight coming in through the door- entryway window
Roof of the Church
The front of the church
Close up of the front

Now it was about 10:30 so we decided to hoof it back to the hotel.  When we got to the hotel, Nate, his mom, and his brother were there waiting for us.  Gina and I decided to go to the bathroom one last time, but when we saw the line she decided to just go up to her start line.  I had no choice in the matter, it was go now or pee my pants about 4 miles in.  Luckily I happened to find a bathroom in the hotel where the line was really short!  …turned out it was a guys bathroom.  A couple of girls besides me were in line too, and we just closed our eyes as we walked in.  The guys were really good about it too.   

By the time I was done with that, it was about 10 minutes to the start, and I still hadn’t found Stacey!  We were texting back and forth but couldn’t find each other’s location.  I decided just to get in line and maybe we would see each other on the course.  I dropped in on the conversation behind me- the ladies were talking about running the Disney marathon- and I made some new friends.   

I started up Pandora on my phone and CardioTrainer to record my workout…nothing started playing!  Oh god!  I was going to have the whole race without music!!  I couldn’t see the time clock or any officials from where I was- all of a sudden though, everyone started moving!  It took me about four minutes to make it up to the timing mat, and by that time, I was jogging, so it worked out well.

Next post-- the actual race!

Monday, November 8, 2010

13.1 Miles, the Farthest My Feet Have Ever Carried Me

So, here it is, my experience of my first half marathon!  These will be longer posts (especially Chapter 3...) so be prepared.  I've broken them into chapters and will post one a day for the next four posts.

Chapter 1: My Last Night as a Middle Distance Runner

Nate (hubby) and I arrived into Mackinac City at about 8:30 Friday night.  We were supposed to get in at about 7:30 but we got a late start.  We met up with Nate’s mom, sister and brother and went out to a nice Italian place for dinner.  Nate’s mom thought it would be good for Gina and I to "carbo load" the night before (Gina was running the 5.7 mile race the next day), and I didn’t have any reason to argue with her.  I took some pictures of the restaurant because it was really neat- it had a log cabin type feel to it and had handmade tables and chairs. 
Walking into the restaurant 

Cool Fireplace, and in the bottom of the pic you can see one the tables a little bit

                                          Ahh!  They're going to jump on my head!! (Deer in the rafters of the ceiling....pretty cool, hey?)
Another one of the neat fireplace

The fam! From left: Nate, Tyler, Me, and Gina.  This would make a great Christmas card!

Got back to the hotel and laid out my clothes for the next day.  I not only laid out the clothes I knew I was going to wear, but I also laid out the rest of my “back up” running apparel just in case the next morning I panicked and wanted something else.  I had brought every piece of running gear I owned, so this was quite a feat.  Also, I forgot to mention that when I was packing to go to Mackinac City, I ALMOST FORGOT MY RUNNING SHOES.  Seriously, I had to go back into the house for them.  How dumb.  Oh well, at least I remembered them! 

If I would have had my number/bib I would have pinned it on, but alas, I couldn’t pick up my stuff the night before since I was staying on the mainland (since hotels on the island are ridiculously expensive).  I never got to meet up with my friend Stacey the night before, and I knew she was taking the later ferry since her mom was driving up to walk the race the morning of, so I knew I wouldn’t see her until we were at the start line.  Went to bed at around 11pm or so, planning to get up at 6:45am to eat breakfast at 7am (with no shower since I was going to be stinky after the race anyway) so I could catch the 8am ferry.

Restarting C25K

Tonight me and two girls from work restarted couch to 5K.  They had kind of stopped running since last year when we did it (one stopped completely, the other was just not running consistently) and wanted to get back into it.  I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to work on building up my speed.

I had CardioTrainer running the whole time and it tracked our running sections at an average of 6.5 mph! (approximently 9 minute miles).  At our fastest, our run time was a 7:08 minute/mile!  Holy crap, I was running quick tonight!

I'm pretty stoked about redoing this program quickly.  I think it will train me to be a little quicker, which will really help with my next race.  I should note however that during my running sections my heart rate was at 190-191 beats per minute.  Using that old 220-your age formula (that isn't very accurate at all), my max heart rate should be 194.  Holy wah!

Also, today is going to be a double post, because I want to start to get my half marathon experience on here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Seriously Considering an Ultra...

I can't stop thinking about someday doing an Ultra marathon.


I just finished my first half marathon.  I'm going to do another in May (although I seriously want it to be a full...more on that in a minute).  But I find myself thinking more and more about ultras and how great it would be to do one.  And a 12 or 24 hour race?  Sounds pretty neat.  What the hell is wrong with me??

About my half marathon/full marathon dilemma- I really want to do a full marathon instead of another half.  Besides just being able to say "I'm a marathoner", the race I've chosen (Green Bay) has a much cooler full marathon course vs. the half.  They also have a 7 hour limit, so I'm sure I could finish in time (barring some type of catastrophe).  However, I also very much want to be able to finish a half marathon strongly and with my best effort, which I don't feel I did on this last one (more to come on that in the next few days).

The smart thing to do would be this- half in May, Full in fall, Ultra in 2012.
What I want to do more and more is- half in April, Full in May, Ultra in July.

I know that would probably kill me.  But...if the Ultra was a 50K...that's really only 5 more miles than a marathon...I mean I'm not going to do a 50 mile or anything!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Still Kickin'

Whew! What a fall!  My vet clinic moved to a new location, I got married, and I ran a half marathon! (In that order chronologically, not by importance... ;) ).

The clinic move went great, the wedding was the best day of my life (!), but since this is my running blog, I'm mostly going to focus on the half marathon.  I ran it 10/23/10, and it was on Mackinac Island.  I'll do the full run down on my next post (I want to upload my pics and what not from it), but I'll give you the lead in to it.

So, it's probably pretty easy to tell that I've been ridiculously busy this fall- no updates on blogger, no posts on the WW website...yeah.  Between the wedding and the clinic move, I've had zero time for extra things...which unfortunately included running for the most part.  Since my last post, I've ran about 8 times- and that's including the half marathon.  Yep, you read that right...from August to October, I ran about 8 times.  Only three of those runs were over 4 miles long- one of which included the half marathon.  The other two that were over 4 miles?  Oh, those were done in the two weeks before the half.  Yep.

Lemme break it down for you a little more- I ran an average of lets say 2 miles a week for the two months leading up to the half.  Then, after the wedding, I freaked out and tried to "cram it in" in the end.  Sadly, running is not as forgiving as your average math test.  Instead of tapering, I ran a 8 mile run two weeks before the half, and an 11 (!) mile run the week before.  Picture of brilliance?  No.  Would I do a large run the week before again if I didn't adequately prepare?  Yes.  Why?  I proved to myself mentally that I would be able to get through a half marathon.  That was important to me, and I honestly think I would have been a large bundle of nerves if I hadn't have done that.

So how did it go?  Again, I'll post a blow by blow analysis next post, but for now lets just say I have mixed feelings about it.  I have decided that I'm going to sign up for the Green Bay Half Marathon in May though, and I even have a time goal in mind and everything.  I also am probably going to do a full marathon (thinking Chicago) next fall.  Oh, the Green Bay one- you get to run through Lambeau Field!  Woo!!

Related to my mixed feelings about the half- I was looking over my race results today (as I was jotting them into my nifty new 2011 running log), and it's obvious how much training makes a difference.  In June, when I was really running and cross training religiously (and running up and down stairs like a maniac)- I ran a 5K with a 10:48 min/mile split- easily the fastest I've ever been as an adult.  Keep that number in mind when I tell you the results of the half.  Ugh- I have to stop thinking about the differences there- it's depressing.

Watch for my run down in the next few days!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Week, in Updates

Get ready for a long post. Two separate sections: Lake Antoine Classic, and then Weight Watchers meeting notes.

Lake Antoine Classic 5 Mile Road Race
The Track:

Saturday was my 5 mile race. I had listed it as an upcoming 15K because that is what I had planned on doing...but I haven't been running as often as I should (as I said in the last post). In fact, I didn't even know how I would do on the five mile run. I went into it with extremely low expectations.

How did it turn out? Well, lets do the mile by mile breakdown.

Mile 1
I had decided before I ran that morning that I would walk a little at every mile marker. The most I had ran recently was 2 miles, and it wasn't straight, it was punctuated every so often by the dogs stopping to sniff, so I had plenty of breaks. Anyway, by mile one, I was praying for it to come. For some reason my right leg was falling asleep. I was getting passed by EVERYBODY. Because of my right leg falling asleep, I was running as if my right knee was attached to my left ear. It was terrible. I didn't know how the hell I was going to make it another 4 miles.

I came through the mile marker at 11:30 min/mile. Well...that's not as terrible as I felt I was running. Plus, I had ran slightly over a mile by this point- as any slow runner knows, we start in the back of the pack, so we end up running slightly farther. That made me feel a lot better.

Mile 2
Started this mile by walking for about 45 seconds. It was heavenly. I was able to shake out my leg and make it be awake and participate in the race. Races are much easier to run with both of your legs participating, FYI. The first half of this mile I was still on the long stretch of road that takes you out to the turn to go around the lake. This is one of the more brutal runs I do. It's flat and straight (and therefore boring as hell), the traffic is terrible, and there are no trees and its asphalt in August...therefore hotter than hell when the air conditioner is broken.

Finally by the grace of all the running gods, we made our left turn to go around the lake.

Then the hills started. Oh.

I did what I always do for hills- shortened my stride and quickened my foot strike, leaned into the hill, and powered up that fucker. I passed someone. If I have any talent as a runner, its hills (for the most part). I got to the first water station when I got to mile marker two and I could have kissed those people. I was told the first station was at mile marker three...so I was SO EXCITED to see water. Poured one over my head and one down my gullet. I also used this opportunity to take an energy gel since I knew I would be out there for about an hour (remember how I'm slow?)

Mile 3
This was the best mile, by far. It was also the hilliest. Do I particularly LIKE hills? I don't think so...but they spice up a run. I get bored if the run is totally flat. However, this mile was the best not because of the hills (where I passed another two people), but because of the shade and the subdivision. I've ran and biked around this lake enough to no longer care about the lake scenery...but give me houses I can look at and people working in their gardens, and my mind can work up fun scenarios for said people to keep me entertained. This mile was one of the two places with shade, and it was the biggest place. Oh shade, bless you.

I was excited to see the water station at this mile marker too because I had assumed there would be water at miles 2 and 4 since seeing the first at mile two...before I had thought miles 3 and 4. Another on my head and another down the hatch.

I came through the mile marker at 37:30, so I was just short of on track to finish at under an hour if I pushed the last two miles. I actually got excited.

Mile 4
After mile 3 went so well, mile 4 was an absolute slap in the face. It was terrible. The sun was at full force now, and there was NO shade ANYWHERE during this mile. Just hot asphalt with no wind in any direction. And, back to the flatness. Boring. I had to walk several times this mile because of getting overheated like you would not believe. My heart rate was in the 190's, despite not really pushing harder than earlier in the race when it had been in the mid 170's or low 180's. I think my body was stressed and seriously overheating. I wish I would sweat more.

Came through at a disappointing 52 minutes at the mile marker. Another water station, which was a life saver. Without it, I'm pretty sure I would have walked the rest of the way.

Mile 5
Thank the lord, there was shade during this mile starting about half way through. And lazy rolling hills that didn't add a lot of difficulty, but a lot of fun and mental stimulation. This mile would have been great if I wasn't so mentally and physically defeated from the previous mile. As it was I was just getting though. I walked once. I was still able to push through the finish in...

1 hour 5 minutes 36 seconds (unofficial). Ugh.

I know I didn't have high hopes going into it. In fact, I KNEW I wasn't going to PR. So why am I disappointed? Because of stupid mile three. Because of coming through in a time that I could have finished in under an hour if things the rest of the race had gone ok. Not even WELL, just ok.

I guess everyone hopes to PR every time. You don't expect it, and if anyone asked "Can you PR every time?" You would laugh and explain the level of their naivety to them, but you still in the back of your mind have that little bitch who is whispering "Come on, just suck it up and do it, you can beat you old PR...I mean, that was pretty slow anyway, wasn't it?"

I know I complained a lot in this breakdown of the race...so how did I like it overall? I loved it! I'm proud that I'm able to run that far, even if it's slow. I'm proud that I got out there and did it, even though I didn't PR. And, I'm happy that this run reminded me that I'M A RUNNER. From not running consistently for so long, I had kind of forgotten that.

I also just looked at the statistical breakdown that cardiotrainer gives, and if I look at just the running parts, I was running at 5-6 miles an hour at all times. I was actually going 6 miles/hour quite a bit (for the less mathematically inclined: 10 min/mile) which is an amazing time for me. Pretty happy with that. The fact that I couldn't hold running for as long as I would have liked made perfect sense since I haven't trained as much as I should.

Enough about that.

Post Race, Nate and I (He did the 2 mile walk with some coworkers)

Weight Watcher's Meeting, Thursday

Went in with ok expectations. The week's previous weight had been 169 lbs. Dangerously close to 170's. I didn't track...but I kind of paid attention to what I was eating, and made better choices when possible.

Verdict? 170.6. I was stunned. I shouldn't have been since I had been not tracking and not exercising nearly up to my normal level...but I was. There I was, a year and some change from when I started WW's this time, and I climbed back into the 170's. There was no denying it, I'm a full 10 lbs up from this Feburary. I could have cried.

I didn't. Instead, after the main meeting topics were over, I raised my hand and said "Hi, I'd like to ask a favor. I have been struggling for months now, and I feel like the only way to turn it around is to pubically say my weight today so next week I can say it again and have it next time be lower."

My leader looked shocked, but nodded her head and said that yes, it would be ok to share my weight.


They asked what they could do to help me...and I honestly didn't know. "Well, what is the main issue you've been having?" "I haven't tracked in about a month."

My leader then said that her noon meeting has a traveling points journal- one person takes it for a week and writes her weekly stuff in it, then the next person, etc. I LOVED this idea.

I've been doing it for the last few days...and I can't express how much it's helped already. I've been writing everything, and really thinking about my food decisions before I do them because I don't want to have to write a bad decision in the book.

I can't WAIT to weigh in next week.

And...that's it for now! Thanks for reading my super long post!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm back!!

Hi all!

No, I did not get eaten on my vacation :)...I just got sidetracked. I'm still not back into the full swing of what I'm supposed to be doing for my half marathon training. I've not been running like I should be...but I have been biking!

Two of my friends at work are riding in the "Tour de UP" this week- a bike event where you bike 60 miles a day for 6 days out of 7 (they give you a rest day on Wednesday). I'm doing it next year. I would be doing it this year if I weren't getting married in 6(!) weeks and therefore have no money and no time. Anyway, because they are biking in it, the last two weeks have been a final push for them to be fully trained- i.e., they were cramming in a TON of long rides in preparation. I went along with them for two of them.

The first time was this-

(Image from CardioTrainer for Droid)

The second time was supposed to be just a repeat of the first...but we took a wrong turn and added about 6 miles to the route. (The route is too big for me to get in one screen shot...I could zoom out but you really lose the scale of the thing)

(Images from MapMyRun.com)

So, these two bike trips got me thinking about the differences between running and biking. First off, biking is WAY easier. Which, I knew, but I didn't really think too much about. What I mean is this- the longest I've ever ridden on a bike before these two trips was 7 miles. Now, just consider that for a second...I went from 7 miles to 12 miles with no issues. Not only was my longest previous ride 7 miles, but since that ride, I've ridden no more than 3 miles at once. My 7 mile ride was about 2-3 months ago.

Then, on the next ride (which was two days later) I went from 12 miles to 18. After neither of these trips was I sore or tired or in any way felt as if I had done a strenuous workout. In fact, I've been more tired after a fast 2 mile run.

So lets do some math, because math is our friend! I went from 7 to 12, which is a 71% increase in mileage. Then, I went from 12 to 18, which is a 50% increase. Overall, I went from 7 to 18, which is a 158% increase.

Now, what if I could do that with my running? Right now, I can comfortably run 5 miles with no issues during or after. That would be going from 5 to 8.55 to 12.85 miles over the course of three days. I could be ready for a half marathon in one, two weeks tops!!

So anyway, now I'm interested in how cyclists train. For runners, increasing mileage by 10% each week (with a cutback week every fourth week) is pretty standard. What is standard for cyclists? Does anyone who reads my blog know?

Now, I should mention that I'm not saying biking 18 miles is easy. However, I run. I climb ridiculous amounts of incredibly steep stairs. I lift 50lb dogs by myself, and restrain up to 142lbs of dog (thats the biggest dog I've had come in yet). In short, I'm in shape. The best shape of my life.

And also, I just realized the whole scale of me saying "I rode 18 miles and wasn't sore". That's from Harrison, MI to Clare, MI (I grew up in Harrison). Holy crap.

I love running and what it has done for me!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blog post before one week vacay

I'm going on vacation all next week down to my parents, so there will most likely be no blog posts next week.

Goals while at my parents:
1. Run at least 3 times
2. Cross train at least twice
3. Make the best choices possible with food at least 75% of the time
4. Gain no more than 2lbs at my next WI after vacation (doesn't seem like a strict goal, but it is)

I had posted after last WI that this week I was going to be committed and focused and blah, but well, that didn't happen. I still ate out constantly. We had no food in the house...so I had no choice. Sigh. Expecting a gain again tomorrow.

Went running today with my fiance. He does NOTHING in the way of physical fitness, so the run was interesting. His work is doing some physical fitness initiative where if he wears a pedometer and logs over 5,000 steps a day, they will put $100 in his health savings account.

So, last night he said "I may have to run with you. Probably not though, I walk all day at work, so I think I'll get the steps in." He got in 1,700 steps today. Granted, he was in meetings all day at work (which is abnormal) and he only had the pedometer for a half of a day...but I still highly doubt he will get 5,000 steps a day just working.

Ok, anyway. The run went ok. After the first 1.2 mile loop, we walked for maybe a quarter of a mile, then ran the rest of the loop. He did WAY better than I would have done if I had been sedentary for 5+ years and then tried to run 2.4 miles.

He is a slow runner, which I like, since I'm a slow runner. I was actually pushing his pace a little I think. When we were in cross country in high school (different high schools) we each were the slowest on our respective teams. Always thought that was funny.

Well, that's about it. If I have access to a computer and something super amazing happens downstate, I'll blog. Otherwise, see you on the 12th!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

5K Wrapup

My 5K was today. It was AMAZING!

Let me start at the beginning. My fiance and I hada fight last weekend that we never did anything together, so this weekend was a "doing things together" extravaganza. On Saturday, we went to a wedding reception until 9pm, then a ham radio (he loves ham radio) event from 11pm-2:30am. My 5K started at 8:20am on Sunday with check in at 6:30-7:30am, in a town that was 2.5 hours away. So...where does sleep figure into that? It doesn't. (Bonus, we live in a different time zone than the 5K, so we actually had to leave 3.5 hours earlier than the sign in time...i.e. 3:30am).

I had made a promise to myself to break my PR of 37 and some change by just running as a hard as possible. However...I was running on maybe 2 hours of sleep once you figured in some car sleeping. I was pretty skeptical I was going to do anything good.

Factor in the torrential downpour of rain that we had starting at 4am, and I wasn't feeling like this was the race I had planned.

However, as we were all hanging out underneath a pavilion waiting for the start, I made a friend. Her name was Jessica, and she was concerned that she was going to come in last. I explained to her that she couldn't possibly come in last since I was running the race :). Her friend had made her sign up for the 5K, and after some different family problems, could no longer participate herself. Jessica said that she was too cheap to not run in a race she already paid for, so there she was! I myself didn't successfully peer pressure anyone into signing up for the race with me...so it was perfect!

Me and my new friend

With 10 minutes to go to the start of the race, the rain started to clear up to just a light sprinkling. It was about 60-64*F. In short, the weather was PERFECT. This was also my first chip timed event. We lined up and then *bang*! We were off!

Mile 1 was pretty easy. When I passed the marker I looked at my HRM...10 minutes flat! Holy crap, I'm going too fast I thought. I'll never keep up this pace. At mile 1.5 there was water, I walked for about 30 seconds to drink...then right back to running! Jessica told me that she was going to use me to pace her on the run at this point. That was pretty flattering...I've never been anything CLOSE to a pacer before.

Mile 2 came at 21 minutes. This is where the hills started. They weren't huge, but very rolling. My legs were burning as I was running up them, but I pushed through. I think all the stairclimbing I've been doing on my crosstraining days have REALLY helped me. I'm definitely continuing that.

Around mile 2.5 I looked at my watch. 27ish mins! That means If I just could finish my last 0.6 of a mile in less than 8 minutes, I would have a hold of my original non-sleep deprived goal! AHHH!!

The last thing you had to do was to complete a lap on the track. It was a really neat idea, because you got to watch everyone finish. Mile 3 came on the track, and I think it was somewhere around 32:45ish. I hauled ass for the last 0.1 and finished in....drumroll please...


My best by four minutes! FOUR MINUTES!!


I ran sub 11 mins/mile!! First time ever for a sustained amount of time!!!! I can't express how excited I am.

Based on my results from today, I should be able to run a sub 2:45 half marathon, which is what I've been going for. Really, I'd like to run a sub 2:30 half marathon, but I don't know if that's possible for me yet.

How'd everyone else's weekends go??

38/52 overall for females
94/113 over for both genders
5/8 for Age Group
10:48 mins/mile average

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm SO Frustrated right now.

I gained again this week. 0.4lbs. I know it's not a lot...and I had a feeling I was going to gain going into it...but I'm still mad. I know it's my fault. Even though I track, I've been "forgetting" bites/licks/tastes, or whole snacks at times...I'm eating out WAY more than I should...I know. I know all this and yet I'm still mad when the scale goes up.

Because of this, my commitment this week is to track every single damn thing that goes into my mouth, and to only eat out like 3 times this week. My larger commitment is to have oatmeal for breakfast instead of the McDonald's I usually have.

I'm also going to try to honestly use as little WP's and AP's as possible. I want I huge loss before going on my week long vacay at home, where I fully expect to gain.

I guess the good thing is that I'm earning 30-40 AP's each week. That really helps buffer some of the weight that I would have gained. Oh, and I know people say you can "gain muscle" when you work out that much and that can explain some gains....no. You simply can't gain that much muscle in one week as a woman on a restricted diet. You can lose more slowly, or maybe not lose at all for a week, but gaining almost a whole pound one week and a half a pound the next? No. All of the scientific studies I've ever read basically say this is something dieters tell themselves to make themselves feel better.

Ok, on to good news. I rode my bike 8ish miles on Tuesday. I parked at Lake Antoine and then biked 1 mile to go around Big Lake Fumee.
That's my track from Tuesday. It only says 7.27 miles, but that's because I started the program later into my track.

I also tried my eGel energy gels by www.cranksports.com for the first time on this ride. I knew I would be out there for over an hour, and I hadn't had dinner yet, so I brought one with me and ate it about half way around. It went down easy (although was a different consistency than I expected, but I've never had a gel before...so...) and it didn't cause me any stomach upset. I bought a multi box with 4 different flavors; I tried the cherry bomb one. The other three flavors are mountain rush, vanilla strawberry slam, and tropical blast. The flavor of the cherry bomb one was really good...I hope the others are that good! I want to try all four flavors on my training runs before I have to use them for my 15K in August or my half marathon in October.

eGel claims they are the best because they are 150 cals instead of 100, so you get more per pouch, and they have higher amounts of electrolytes than other gels. I tried this brand because it was recommended in Marathoning for Mortals.

Getting excited/nervous for my 5K on Sunday!