Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Minute I Realized

Following my longest training run (at the time), I had two of the besties over for dinner and a New Moon viewing party since the husband was out of town.  We ate a healthy dinner, enjoyed some fabulous homemade apple crisp (I had to get some calories after my run afterall) and some nice girl talk.  The talk soon went to my training, all the running I have been doing and my various aches and pains.  After watching me hobble around like an old woman (my feet were bothering me too, but its more a result of how I run--on the outside of the balls of my feet--honestly, the heels of my shoes have ZERO wear on them) both friends were concerned that I needed to take some time off and not run for awhile.
The idea made me fairly anxious; but not in a "oh gosh, how will I lose weight" kind of way, but more of "you want me to take a break from my best friend?"  I used to grumble about running, now I literally count down the minutes until I can hop on the treadmill or made it to the trail.  I smile before, during and after my run and I dream about it.  I can't stop talking about it and how great it makes me feel.  It hit me like a brick--"I was a runner."  I was certifiably, 100% in love with running!  It feels soooo amazing to say that.

So it pains me to say that after my run Sunday, I took yesterday as a rest day, and skipped out again today (per the husband's instructions).  The hip is pretty stiff (I can't even sleep on my left side) and I am a bit nervous about my doctor's appointment on Monday.  I hope I can either get the bursea drained or get a shot to take down the inflammation; anything but "don't run for x weeks." 

I have had bursitis in various parts of my body before and I wonder if maybe my shoes (and my funny running style) is the culprit.  I am going to head to a Charm City Run this weekend and hopefully do a new shoe fitting and find out if there is any shoe out there that can fix my goofy, former sprinter run!  As much as I love my Brooks Trance, we may need to break up; they may be more harm than good to me!

I had to share these pictures.  My husband often remarks its amazing that I have only broken my ankle ONCE.  Pardon the crappy iPhone pics.

The only part of my shoe with any wear.

Other than being dirty, the heels of my shoes look almost new!  They have approximately 250 miles on them.

On to better news!  I convinced a girl from my office to go for a jog/walk with me on Thursday!!  She has already run a half marathon, but made a cross country move and stopped running.  She is looking to ease into running again and run some races with me, so I am thrilled to get in some miles with her .  Any interest in making the trek down here Katye??

I hope you are all having a fabulous Tuesday.  Can you believe tomorrow is the last day or March??

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Bloody Sock

I decided this morning that I would head out for a long run. I had not been running much because of this stupid hip pain (which is still there, but less noticeable) and yesterday I promised my husband I would play golf with him. I had hoped to go out with Katye, but the timing just did not work out (hopefully Saturday though). This run was full of first for me though, and you get to hear about them.

Getting ready to head out. Cute, right? I took a page out of Racing With Babes and rocked some awesome socks. It was only 55 out during my run, and they helped me stay warm throughout (even though a woman did ask me why I was running in casts).

• I ran 10.5 miles. Ok, ran/walked. But I did it, with a minimal amount of whining (probably because I was by myself) and I was still standing at the end. This is the farthest I have run to date and I am darn proud of it.  Its also my first time hitting double digits in my run!

• I ran with a water belt on. BEST INVENTION EVER. I was not dehydrated this long run, there was no looking at astream with ideas of drinking from it. It also has a nifty little pocked on it where I could put my cell phone, some cash, lip balm and my driver’s license. I did not notice the belt bouncing around at all, so I was pleased with my clearance purchase ($15.74).

• I had my first bloody sock.  It was not soaked, and there was not a lot of blood, but it happened. About 5 miles into my run, I thought my heel was bothering me, but I just kept going and tried to ignore it. I can home and found that had a huge raw area on that had bled through my running sock, my tall sock and onto my shoe. I am going to try some moleskin on the area of my shoe that bugged me on my next run to see if that will help. It made me feel pretty hard core though!

The Bloody Sock--I guess it's not as impressive as Curt Schillings?

This run was pretty hard for me, and I wanted to quit. I wanted to call my husband and tell him to come get me. My hip was bugging me, it started to rain and I *may* have cried a little thinking about the distance remaining. But I sucked it up, told myself I was not a quitter and that I could do this, and I did. I finished and I felt great knowing that I never gave in or gave up even if it was not the most successful run ever!!

I have figured out that my Nike + is not that accurate on miles (it told me I did 12 miles) so I will skip guessing on the splits. 

This is the map of my run.  There is a slight difference in distance because of my starting point and a detour that is not factored in.

I am finally feeling more confident and comfortable with the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. I only have 2 weeks left and I wish I had a bit more time, but since my run today, the idea of ten miles (and double digits) is not so daunting. I am not as worried about the sweeper bus picking me up during the race for not keeping pace and having to ride to the finish line instead of running. YAY for confidence building!

I probably will re-evaluate my goal of finishing sub 2 hours. For your speedy people out there, I am sure that seems silly, but knowing myself and what I have found myself to be capable, I am going to say a 2:05 to 2:10 is more realistic for me. Still, nothing to be ashamed of because I will be running 10 miles!!

Does anyone have a hard time trying to balance life around running?  I work, I go to school, I train and I am married.  Sometimes, I think my husband feels neglected when I go on long runs without him, and I sometimes feel like I struggle to get it all done.  Does anyone have any recommendations on how to make it all fit??

Any Marylanders out there planning on going to Preakness this year?  OAR and the Zac Brown band are on the infield!  The husband, my sister and I are all going (its the day before my graduation from UB--could be dangerous!)

How was everyone's runs this weekend?  Did you have a great weekend?  Do anything fun?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I see a few people posting this and I jumped on the bandwagon.

1) After getting my Nike+ last night (sure, I am about 2 years behind the trend) I went for a jog with the husband’s college friend who is still visiting (and very sweetly did my dishes for me while he was at the house alone yesterday). I was really impressed with how accurate the mileage was on it (it was slightly under actual distance) and might actual prefer it to my running GPS app for my iPhone. That might be the only positive thing from the evening, because the run stunk. I never got into a groove, my hip was killing me and I was frustrated the whole time. The 35 (3 miles) minutes took FOREVER and I just got frustrated with my various injuries over the last year.  I know I can do this, and my body just needs to cooperate!

2) While I am sure its just bursitis, I made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor on the 5th (first available appointment) to make sure I was not doing myself more harm than good and to make sure its not something more serious. I am going to probably stick to biking for a while to take it easy on my hip, which is not how I wanted to last two and a half weeks leading up to my (FIRST) 10 miler to work out, but it’s the safest thing in this case.

3) Registration for the Army Ten Miler opens up on April 1st! Let me know if you are planning on running it; I have wanted to do this race since I moved out from Iowa! Eight years later I am actually doing it! 

Tonight is a great night of college basketball and I hope you get a chance to enjoy it.  Go Cornell and UNI (Sparty wears a skirt)!!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Mystery Bruise and Some Hodgepodge

I have taken a couple of days off since my stellar weekend runs, which given my hip pain (I am pretty sure its bursitis—yes, I know, I need to see a doctor) I figured was not the worst thing in the world. I had every intention of going out last night, but I went home first (big mistake) and never found the motivation to head to the gym. Instead, I ended up doing a lot of household chores I had been neglecting and went to the driving range with my husband. Probably not the best idea given the hip pain, but it was at least something. I am heading out right after work, so hopefully I can get a nice, easy 5-6 miles in.

Early one morning before I had to get up, I was watching an infomercial (they always suck me in) for an exercise program called Insanity. I have considered getting P90X or something else similar to get my cross training done, but the Insanity program is sticking out to me. Has anyone tried this program or any of the others? Have any suggestions, comments or recommendations? Are these things that only work well if you are extremely motivated?

I woke up yesterday morning went to take a shower, and noticed a big, albeit faint purplish-red area on the outside of my left hip. I figured it was just from being tangled up in my PJs and shrugged it off and didn’t think much of it.
This morning, I woke up and saw the same area, only much darker and even bigger. It’s not tender to the touch, but it’s unsightly and it’s near the area where my hip hurts. I discussed it with a friend from work who said she gets the same thing after a long run, but it’s still curious to me. Anyone have any idea what it could be and what causes it??  Is there anything that can be done to prevent it?

Sorry for the scatterbrained post today--I think you can tell it's Wednesday.  I will make up for it tomorrow!

Monday, March 22, 2010

8.7 miles down and a lesson learned

First, Go University of Northern Iowa.  My Hawkeyes are not in the tourny, so I have to root on the team from my home state.  Also Go Big Red (Cornell), Husband's alma mater.  So awesome to have some underdogs in the tournament that I can root for!

Saturday, I ran further than I have ever run in my entire life.; until this point, the furthest I had gone was 6.2 miles and I felt great! .

The weather was perfect Saturday and Sunday (low to mid 70’s, a touch of a breeze and sunny). I did my research and decided I would run the Baltimore Annapolis Trail (it runs from the BWI Trail all the way down to Annapolis—stretches 15.5 miles). Why this trail over the BWI trail? This trail has bathrooms and drinking fountains at various points. Perfect, or so I thought. I hate carrying anything in my hands while I run, and I did not yet have a water belt; water fountains along the run would be an excellent solution. I popped a couple of Advil to help my with my hip and armed with my nifty new iPhone app, I set off for the trail.

I took off at about 10 AM from one of the access points. I started slow, since my run was starting on a pretty steep incline to go to an overpass over the highway. I could feel my hip, but the pain was not unbearable, just there. I found out I could not stride out too much or else the pain became really noticeable.

A mile into the run, I felt great. I was just going at my own pace, people watching with all the bikers, runners and walkers and enjoying the scenery. Mile 2 came and went and felt great too. My new app was giving me pace and time updates every quarter mile and the time was passing quickly. I was looking for the water fountains when I approached the spot and found nothing. Weird, but no matter. A ranger station was about a mile and a half ahead, so I just kept plugging away.

Another overpass came up, so I charged up the hill (as much as my hip would allow for) and was smiling the whole way, knowing how far I had run and that I was approaching my half way point and the ranger station was about a half mile away, so I kept moving.

The ranger station on the trail was about 3.5 miles into my run, so I took a minute to stretch out and head to the water fountains, but was extremely disappointed to see that there was no water running to them. WHAT??? AA County, do you think you could have posted this on your website? The two fountains that should have been on the run were either nonexistent or not operational? I saw a few other runners with the same annoyance and I just headed back to the trail to finish out the last half mile before turning around.

Hitting the 4 mile mark was something incredible. I managed to get there in about 53 minutes, but factoring in a detour on the trail on where I started, I probably ran 4.35 miles. Not a huge deal, but factors into the time and distance. (my one gripe about the app—it stopped running when I got a text message I did not realize for a good 10 minutes—so my additional distances are estimations)

I turned around head back and did some walking/running intervals. About 1:25 into my run, I started to get REALLY jealous of everyone with their water bottles and even the stream I ran over was starting to look good (don’t worry, I didn’t drink from it). I considered just quitting and calling someone to come and get me, but I only had 2 miles left at this point and I could do it!

The last mile of the run was really tough for me. I am sure it stemmed from a combination of dehydration, some pain in my hip and a bit of discouragement, but I finished (walking most of it) that last mile. I managed to get in about 8.7 miles in just under 2 hours (1:58ish). Not the best time, but I really think the dehydration and frustration affected the last half of my run.

So, splits for the run are:
Mile 1 – 12:45
Mile 2 – 13:15
Mile 3 – 13:30
Mile 4 – 13:15
Mile 5 – 13:20
Mile 6 – 13:40
Mile 7 – 14:15
Mile 8 – 14:10
8.0 to 8.7 – 10:15

My car (with two water bottles in it) was such a beautiful site. I guzzled the bottles of water in no time and decided to head into the mall to get another. I also rewarded myself with an Italian Ice (it was so cold and so delicious). As I headed back to my car, I wondered if I should go out and just finish another mile and a half to get 10 miles in, but decided what I had accomplished for the day was enough. I was pleased with what I accomplished and I was pretty giddy and would tell anyone who listened that I ran 8.7 miles that day!

I learned my lesson and went straight to a sporting goods store and bought a water belt. I am sure I will be cursing the extra weight, but it beats what I experienced the last mile of my run.  In addition to learning a lesson, it was  a real confidence booster to have done this run.  Now, I know that that adding another 1.3 miles won't be so bad!

I followed up Saturday’s performance with a 4 mile jog on the same trail, this time with a water bottle. Much happier E at that point! Today, I am walking funny (my hip and my feet are killing me) but I still have a big grin on my face. I think accomplishing my longest run ever this weekend has made me a bit goofy!  I am taking a much deserved (in my eyes) rest day today.

In other news, I think I will be changing the name and address of my blog. I just want something a little more positive and less focused on my weight, so, once I finalize my choice, I will keep you all posted!

Did everyone had a good weekend?  How were your runs?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome Spring

I have decided to welcome spring at full force. Armed with a new app for my iPhone (supposed to have a better GPS and tracking devices than the other app I tried out) Saturday (in the low 70’s!!) I will be taking on my longest run to date. I am aiming for 8 miles. I will do 8 miles. I may not do all 8 miles running and it may take me 3 hours, but I will be on the trail until those 8 miles are done! I have tried to round up some friends to go with me since the husband is out of town, but no one is answering my texts or my Facebook messages! I hate running outside alone, especially after a weird incident several years ago (I was thinking about doing some research and a post on running safety; is this something you would be interested in seeing?), but given the wonderful weather expected for this weekend, there should be a large number of people on the trail and that should help make me less uneasy. I am sure you guys will hear about it shortly after, if I am not in the hospital!!!

Since I rely so heavily on the more experienced runners that have offered plenty of encouragement and advice, I am hoping you guys can keep the good stuff coming and help me get prepared for the upcoming Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. What do you recommend my longest training run to be? Should I just do 8, the full 10 or go for 12 miles? What are your prerace routines? What do you do about fueling before, during and after the race? What do you do the night of races to make the mornings easier? Should I bring shoes to change into after the race? How should I dress; on the light side or in layers?

Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to my non-bloggy friend Laura who is running her first half marathon (with a broken arm no less) this weekend down in Virginia Beach. Good Luck and you will do phenomenal!

Also, good luck to Laura who will be running the Suntrust National Marathon in DC this weekend and I will hopefully be heading downtown on Saturday to cheer her (and another friend) on. If you have not checked out her blog, you totally should. She is a Marathon Maniac who is on track to be the youngest female to finish a marathon in all 50 states in June!! She is super inspirational; after reading her blogs I thought maybe I could do these races too (though no where as well as Laura can)!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Running with my husband

Rica Rica Rewind---Do what?  The man who thinks I am crazy went running with me?!

Instead of heading to the gym right after work, I went home to see my husband and his friend who had just flown in for a few days visit. I figured I would say hi, socialize for a little bit, and they would go to the driving range when I went for my run. After I changed and started stretching, my husband said “Wait, we are coming with you; I figured we could go to the trail.” I asked him if they were taking the bikes and when he replied “No, we are running with you,” you could have knocked me over with a feather.

The husband, as I have mentioned, is supportive of my running and racing, but thinks I am crazy. He dislikes running, which, to be fair, I largely disliked running until the last year, and I have never sat and asked him to run with me of complained that he never did. I was so happy that he suggested it and jumped on the chance to bring him out with me, secretly hoping that the running bug would bite him too.

We took advantage of the gorgeous weather and headed over to the BWI Airport Trail. I was a bit nervous because I don’t run with anyone, and I typically run inside on a treadmill. What if I could barely run a mile outside? I figured it did not matter; it was not a contest and I was going to a take a nice easy run anyway and would be good practice for the races that are coming up.

The downfall of only running on a treadmill? I do not know what certain paces feel like; I just go without feeling. I downloaded an app for my iPhone that has a GPS built in and tried using it as a guide, but after a several minutes of fiddling with it I discovered it stunk (to which husband said he would get me a Garmin 405 as an early graduation present!!) so I used the stop watch on the phone instead, put the it away and decided to take off on what felt like a good pace. A few minutes in, the husband asked me to slow down, so I pulled up a bit (he thought I was doing a 9:30 or so pace and I about fell down giggling; no way—not this slow poke). The boys got about 1.8 miles into the run and decided to walk, but I told them I needed/wanted to keep going. I went for another mile (mostly up an incline that I did some sprint intervals with—ouch) and decided to head back since the sun was going down. Once I reached the boys, we all ran back to the car, where I estimated our run to be about 64 minutes long. 5.6 miles in 62 minutes? I will take it! If I can sustain that for a additional 5 miles, I will come well under my goal of 2 hours for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler!! It was nice to run outside and have varying elevations in the run; it makes it a bit more challenging.

The best part about the whole run? My husband actually seemed to enjoy himself; his shins never bothered him and he was impressed he could run the 1.8 miles without having run in a few years!! Maybe I will have a running partner!!
How about you? Have you ever gotten someone hooked on running?

Monday, March 15, 2010


Sadly, there is no Shamrock 5K race report from me. My father in law (a doctor) diagnosed me with bronchitis over the weekend. I was still planning on doing the race, until my husband ratted me out to his father. While he told me I could still do the race, it would be unwise and would only prolong my illness with the damp cold air in the Baltimore area on race day. After some thought, I agreed and decided it was best to avoid a situation that would extend this ickiness any longer than necessary (its already been two weeks!). I am so disappointed because I have heard great things about this 5K and I was looking forward to the beer race.

So, instead of running outside, I went to the gym and told myself that I would feel slightly better if I ran under my goal on the treadmill for a 5K and a few more miles. I managed to get my 5K in at 33:40 and 5 miles done in 57:32. My splits looked like:
Mile 1 – 11:30

Mile 2 – 11

Mile 3 – 11:10

Mile 4 – 12:15 (YIKES--I must have been super tired)

Mile 5 – 11:47

I wished I could have gotten two miles in, but my left hip started to bother me and I just decided to call it quits instead of pushing it too hard. Overall, I was pleased with my run. Except for one mile, I kept my time WELL below the tempo I hoped to run for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. (I am hoping for a 12min/mile pace—with a few miles just at 11:45) and that is the fastest 5K time I have EVER done. In addition, when I look back that a year ago I was excited that I ran for two straight minutes without stopping, its awesome to see how far I have come. Its just one of the many reasons I love running; there is just such a dramatic way to see your progress. If you would have told me a year ago that I would be running a 10-miler (or a half marathon---yikes!!!) I would have laughed at you.

I have become obsessed with running skirts lately. I have had a hard time figuring out what to wear to run in lately, especially when I think about warm weather. Running shorts have a tendency to creep up and make my thighs look like those giant fair turkey drumsticks and capris just make me too warm, especially since I sweat like a man as it is. I recently bought the Nike Pacer Knit Skirt and it has become my favorite thing to run in lately. It’s cute, comfortable (a bit short) and durable. There are some booty shorts underneath the skirt that do not creep up and I feel so comfortable in them. If you know of any other great running skirts (I need the shorts under—not just the bloomers/underwear things), send them my way; I will be forever indebted!  Additionally, if you love running skirts too, check out Katye's awesome giveaway on her blog. 

If you ran the Shamrock 5K, how did it go? Did you do anything fun this weekend?!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I feel like

Someone should be playing the funeral march for me.  I went to the Annapolis Charm City Run Store today pick up my race packet for the Shamrock 5K Saturday.  On my way out, I started talking a nice girl at the front of the store who was working a table. It turns out she was signing people up for the Maryland Half Marathon and after no a little thought, I SIGNED UP! I was encouraged that it was her first half marathon, and the furthest race she will have run up until that point will be the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler (and she is moving about 2 miles from my house---I honestly felt like we were soul mates) .  Maybe my husband is right; I am crazy (he says this lovingly and has been very supportive, but as a non-runner, he does not understand my desire to run for that long).

So, add another one for the upcoming races:

The Maryland Half Marathon -- May 23rd!  Goal--finish!

Sure, running a marathon is my ultimate goal, and running a half marathon is a logical step, but I never thought it would be so soon.   I guess this adventure is getting under way much sooner than I anticipated!

Apparently, I have a cold that just won’t quit; the husband and I have been run off our feet busy for the last week and a half and its certainly not helping my recovery. Luckily, I have not let it stop me from running, although my distance is suffering. Once I start coughing, it does not let up and it’s time to call give it a break. I have been doing a lot of speed work lately, which is great, but the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is only a month away and I need to get some longer runs in!

Over the weekend, the husband and I took a very quick trip to Eastern Long Island to celebrate his aunt’s 50th birthday (she has Down’s, so it was a very special occasion). Luckily, the weekend was beautiful and I was able to get two five mile runs in outside. I spend so much time on the dreadmill, I forget how much I enjoy running outside. Just getting out in the open air, taking in all the sights (or ridiculously expensive houses) and enjoying nature made the five miles pass by so quickly both days.

The trip to NY was lovely and it was nice to see the husband’s family, but once I stepped on the scale after we made it home, I realizee that I need to start using a bit lot more willpower when it comes to my food choices. Husband comes from a traditional Italian family and the amount of food prepared for just 6 people astounds me! It was soooo good and I had to eat a bit of everything. Luckily, http://www.thedailyplate.com/ now has an iPhone app, so I can start taking control of this eating situation! If you have not checked this site out, it’s run by Livestrong and had a plethora of information available. Almost every food is listed on there, with portion size, calories, fiber, sugar, etc, any workout imaginable is listed so you can track you calories burned, plus there are plenty of forums and discussion boards to bounce ideas of other members. It’s been a great way to track my food intake since I got back, and best of all, it’s free for basic membership!  My goal is to lose this last 20 pounds before the middle of July (vacation at the beach) and I just need a bit more accountability!

I am looking into getting a Garmin for running outside now that the weather is turning. Does anyone have any suggestions, recommendations or alternatives??

My last question for everyone is how do you prepare yourself mentally when you are running a race? I am concerned I might get bored a few miles into my race and lose focus. I am positive I can run this race and do well physically, but I worry about the mental aspect for this, and future races. How do you keep it all together when running distances over a 10K?

I hope everyone has had a great week and is looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And it happened

Ok, I admit it.

I have not been training like I should. Or much at all, if I am being completely honest.

I was derailed by the snow, then vacation, then midterms when, as much as I hoped it would not happen, WHAM, I got sick. In class on Monday, I was tired. I could have put my head on my desk and slept until 6 in the morning (and we had to watch a snoozer film about Emily Dickinson—seriously did not help matters) and I noticed a sore throat starting. I preemptively went to bed early on Monday, hoping some sleep to curb the sickness. I woke up Tuesday worse than I felt Monday night. I went to bed at 9:15 last night, and still woke up with a darn sore throat, congestion and feeling a bit fuzzy in the head. Yeah, that person who was so happy about not getting sick and the wonders running has done for her a few weeks ago totally forgot about it and ended up getting sick. :(

My body does not ache, so I am going to attempt to run after work, even if I just take it slow and easy. I have just over a month until the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler and while I know I can do it, I am just nervous about actually doing it. I want to run sub-two hours (yeah, I know, I’m slow—but slow is the new fast, didn’t you know?!) and I do not want to finish dead last! Time to kick it in to high gear this next month and get out there.

Upcoming race schedule:

3/14/10 - Shamrock 5K in Baltimore MD – would like to run a 34 min 5k (shut up, I know I am slow!)

4/11/10 – Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC (goal is sub-2 hour, even if it means 1:59:59)

4/25/10 – Pikes Peak (10K) in Rockville MD (goal is sub 1:10—ideally 1:07)

5/2/10 – Broad Street Run (10 miles) in Philadelphia, PA (called the fastest 10 miler in the country, so I am hoping to come in around 1:40)

After these races, I am not sure about what I will do next. I would like to run the Baltimore Half Marathon in October and participate in the Marine Corps Marathon 10K again, but those are in the fall. I need to get my stuff together and find some good races over the summer and get myself registered.

Anyone have any good suggestions or are you running these races?